Guys & Dolls

Church Hill Theatre

Edinburgh

February 9th – 13th

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Stagecraft: 3 Libretto: 4.png Performance:  5

G&Drun-104.JPGI’ve had a busy couple of weeks, checking out the mid-year productions of the Edinburgh student companies, & I dare say I did save the best til last. Frank Loesser’s Guys & Dolls (1950) was a daring choice by the Edinburgh Footlights, a host of American accents waiting to be picked apart by the non-pronunciationists, but they availed themselves of this problem with panache – & suspended our belief for two hours of wonderful Musical Theatre. They just get better & better, these student-run Footlights, who put on their first production back in 1989… this time round, according to the society’s president, Sarah Couper, her ‘incredible Cast & Crew,’ had a ‘blast throughout the creative process,‘ a joyful energy which seeped out of every pore of the performers.

G&Drun-71.JPGThe musical is set in the seedy ‘devil’s-own-streets’ underbelly of Prohibition-Era New York, a world of gamblers, drink & other such vices, into which a team of sacred sisters have been sent to save with a series of late-night prayer meetings. One of these, Sister Sarah (played by Ellie Millar) is our leading lady, whose sweet voice melted like ambrosia on the ears. Beside her stood, danced & quipped the ubersmooth Sky Masterson (Oliver Barker), & together they catalysed the best moment of the night, when Sister Sarah found herself drunk & letting loose in Cuba. Special praise must also go to flame-haired Mae Hearon’s ‘Miss Adelaide,’ whose accent, dancing, singing &, well, just about everything, was perfect; while Lila Pitcher’s dice-rolling, threat-tossing ‘Big Julie’ was a brilliant & hugely hilarious part.

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Musically & choreographically, this was a technically flawless affair, while the humour was delivered with deadly timing – the crowd loved it. The set could have been given a bit more attention, but this was made up by some excellent costume-work. As for the music itself, its not the catchiest collection of songs, but the two most famous numbers, ‘Luck Be a Lady‘ & ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat’ were given the full monty with some great routines, the latter of which I’m still humming as I write. A chic, sleek production, this one, & I’m looking forward to next year’s offering from the Footlights already.

Reviewer  Damo Bullen 

4

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One thought on “Guys & Dolls

  1. Thank you very much for the very kind review of Guys and Dolls. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance and are glad you did too. My name is Ellie Millar and I played the role of Sarah Brown. I was wondering if it would be possible to amend this in the review so that I could pass it on to friends and family?

    Many thanks,

    Ellie

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