From beginning to end, Musicality’s performance of ‘Guys and Dolls’ treated its audience to an amazing show of excellently timed comedy, brilliantly performed choreography, and incredible singing that proved just how much talent our university has. The performance was perfectly executed, from the amazing band to the beautiful costumes. The attention given to every detail allowed the show to flow effortlessly and every actor on stage, speaking or not, gave everything to their role.
The charge of acting, singing, dancing as well as perfecting the precise timing needed for producing comical moments was undertaken by all involved. They did not disappoint and the dedication and enthusiasm shown by every single cast member was the true forte of this show. Whether they were a street cleaner, tramp, gambler or dancer, each person gave their all to their role, not letting their act drop for a second.
The actors’ comic timing shows how hard the crew and cast have worked on this show and over and over again they succeeded in causing the audience to explode in laughter. Some outstanding performances were given by Tim Watkins and Douggie McMeekin, the latter delivering a brilliant portrayal of the bumbling ‘Nicely Nicely Johnson’, as well as the Salvation Army, who managed to be hilarious merely walking across the stage. There were also unexpected moments of comedy from Ben Cave as Lt Brannigan whose dark humour gave an edge to this cheerful show.
The show’s humour was offset by the relationships portrayed by the leading couples. James Lewis and Maddie Gradwell, as the gambler Sky Masterson and the virtuous Sister Sarah, handled expertly the hard task of portraying the tenderness and fragility of love at first sight without being overindulgent or soppy. Gemma Lien and Weston Twardowski were perfect as warring couple Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide and created some genuinely outstanding moments with their brilliant chemistry and proficient acting skills.
In such a small stage choreographing must have proved a challenge but Nicola Bracewell did not disappoint. Every piece was excellently though out and executed and we were treated to some really excellent dance routines, including a tap sequence performed exceptionally by the Hot Box Dancers. It was clear an enormous amount of effort had been put in behind the scenes too. The costumes were superbly selected with everyone looking as New York as they sounded.
This show exposed some truly brilliant singers, with all the leads excelling. Rob Orme sang beautifully as Brother Arvide and Laura K Thomson as General Cartwright gave the night’s best performance in ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat’. However no matter the immense skill of those singing this show would have been nothing without the band backstage. Conducted by Musical Director Katherine Tye, the musicians who comprised the band were simply out-standing.
The commitment Director Sam Warren and the Producers Harriet Morgan and James Townend gave to this show was evident throughout and it must be due in part to them that the energy levels of all the cast, even though this was their second show that day, did not even slightly drop. The cast and crew excelled in every way and no one I spoke to could give even the smallest criticism. This performance was exhilarating and incredibly enjoyable, a tribute to the dedication, enthusiasm and talent of everyone that was involved.