Review: Guys and Dolls, Crucible

Robert Hastie’s production of Guys and Dolls brings all kind of Christmas cheer at the Crucible Theatre

“Call it dumb, call it clever
Ah, but you can get odds forever”

There’s a touch of the predictable about going for a classic like Guys and Dolls as your Christmas musical, but can you blame Sheffield Theatres when its a stone-cold classic like this. And even if I’ve seen it fair few times in recent years (Royal Exchange, West End, Chichester), its joyous spirit is one which is hard to resist.

And that spirit is in fine evidence in Robert Hastie’s exuberant production at the Crucible. In Kadiff Kirwan’s highly personable Sky Masterson and Alex Young’s pleasingly self-assured Sarah Brown, and Martin Marquez’s Nathan Detroit and Natalie Casey’s Miss Adelaide, it has a cracking central quartet who have no problem in whisking us away from our troubles, if only for a couple of hours.

As crap games and colds sit alongside Cuban jaunts and choral get-togethers, you can’t help but beam brightly as the interplay of Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows’ chirpy book and Frank Loesser’s evergreen music and lyrics lifts the spirit with its irrepressible New York energy. 

Janet Bird’s Meccano kit of a set uses the wide expanse of the stage so well, and Matt Flint’s inventive and always interesting choreography likewise revels in the opportunities given by all this space. This is a classy production that’ll leave you feeling lucky for sure.

Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes (with interval)
Photos: Johan Persson
Guys and Dolls is booking at the Crucible Theatre until 18th January

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