By Josie Balfour
Guys and Dolls Inverleith Church Hall ***
Nathan Detroit, a sly and mischievous Sean Quinn, has been stepping out with Adelaide for as long as anyone can remember.
Which suits such a man about town right down to the lower ground floor of the Empire State Building. Adelaide, a sumptuous and sublime Rio Brady, however, is a lady with a mother who would not understand. This has placed Miss Adelaide in a very delicate situation, the stress of which has caused an upper respiratory inflammation that cannot be resolved unless a gold ring is placed on the third finger of her left hand.
Behind his beloved’s back and, naturally, that of the law, Nathan has been running a Craps game which has become somewhat complicated by a shortage of cash. Cash that can only be gleaned from one Sky Masterson, a swell yet understated Philip Ryan.
And the only sure way to part Sky and his money is a gamble. Enter the upstanding and abstemious Sarah Brown, an angel faced and voiced Rebecca Gilhooley, the unwitting victim of Detroit’s cunning swindle. Yet all does not go to plan and, via a complicated series of misadventures, the foursome find themselves entangled in a mishap that might end at the alter.
Taking over the church hall at Inverleith this week, these young ruffians and their fellow miscreants are sharing their version of these troubling events nightly. Included in their high-falutin’ family friendly hijinks are some outstanding musical numbers, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat and Take Back Your Mink perfectly capturing the spirit of Damon Runyon’s New York street hustlers.
Yet not all of their congregation of sinners is as stretched as the main quartet, nor are they challenged by the nature of the project they have embarked upon, having visited this story’s particular neighbourhood before. Straddling uncomfortably that dangerously thin line between school play and the success of their previous productions, Forth Children’s Theatre continually tease the audience with tantalising glimpses of their ability through the veneer of a very conventional account of Runyon’s best known proceedings.