Guys and Dolls Inverleith Church Hall *****
Guys and Dolls is based on the well known Hollywood film and stage musical. The storyline is set in the 1940’s around a couple of gamblers who are involved in the oldest permanent floating craps game in New York City. Nathan Detroit, who is hosting the game, is in desperate need of $1,000 and makes a bet with Sky Masterson that Sky cannot make a particular girl fall for him. Sky bets that whoever it is, he will be able to take her to Havana for dinner the next day.
Nathan chooses Sara, who is running the local Mission. Will Sky succeed or will Sara be able to resist his charms? Will Sara manage to find enough sinners to be able to keep her Mission going?
The Forth Children’s Theatre has a long successful history of bringing productions to Edinburgh. Their staging is always spectacular but is significantly different every year as they develop new ways of using Inverleith Church Hall.
For Jekyll & Hyde the stage was placed at the end of the hall. Last year, for Ragtime, it was in the middle but for Guys And Dolls it’s set along the length of the hall. This has the effect of making it more intimate; nobody is more than a few rows from the stage. But it also allows the action to move from side to side as well as backwards and forwards. At times there are multiple scenes taking place at once.
The production moves along very quickly, with barely a pause for breath. It’s quite long, at over two and a half hours including an interval, but it never drags for a moment.
The age range of the children in the company means that some of the performers are fully grown while others are still very small. The quality of the acting is so high that this makes no difference at all.
Singing and dancing are excellent throughout, particularly in some of the large ensemble numbers which made full use of the large stage, such as ‘Luck Be A Lady Tonight’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat’.
Definitely not to be missed.