“Follow the fold and stray no more”
In the merry-go-round of theatres and shows and transfers and tours, the success of the West End transfer of Chichester Festival Theatre’s Guys and Dolls has seen it divide itself in two – the promised UK tour will go ahead through to the summer but the show remains in the West End as well, skipping from the Savoy to the Phoenix to replace the outgoing Bend it like Beckham.
It’s my third time at the show. I saw the original run in Chichester and the transfer to the Savoy and hadn’t planned to return. But as ever, the lure of the recast leads sucked me in. Siubhan Harrison remains with the company but with Samantha Spiro, Oliver Tompsett and US actor Richard Kind joining the team (plus the excellent Jason Pennycooke), my barely-there resistance melted away.
And I’m glad to have gone again. The classic quality of Gordon Greenberg’s production can’t be faulted and the show is naturally entertaining from start to finish. I did particularly enjoy the fresh spin of the leads too – Kind’s effortless comedy is joyous to behold, Tompsett is the ideal charismatic leading man and Spiro can do little wrong in my eyes, milking her Miss Adelaide for all she’s worth.
So something of a safe bet but no less enjoyable for it, and any opportunity to see Spiro and Tompsett on our stages should be relished.