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Review: Guys and Dolls, Theatre Royal, until Saturday

PUBLISHED: 13:30 30 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:30 30 July 2015

The Suffolk Young Peoples Theatre who are staging Guys and Dolls at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds.

The Suffolk Young Peoples Theatre who are staging Guys and Dolls at the Theatre Royal, in Bury St Edmunds.

Archant

Clever sets and remarkably good Broadway accents have turned Bury's Theatre Royal into the streets of 1950s New York this week as the Suffolk Young People's Theatre put on their summer show: Guys and Dolls.

A talented cast provide a confident and slick performance of this classic Frank Loesser musical which tells the story of sinners, salvation and romance - all against the backdrop of an illegal dice game.

Adrian Seeley is convincingly desperate as the loveable-but-shady Nathan Detroit, struggling to find a location for his floating crap game while the “heat is on”.

Enter the notorious gambler, Sky Masterson (a charismatic portrayal by Max Welton – Marlon Brando would be proud) with his fondness for strange bets.

Needing cash fast, Nathan suggests a wager: Sky must take saintly mission doll Sarah Brown – played here by Emily Spampanato – to Havana for dinner. Throw in her need for a ready supply of sinners for her Salvation Army meeting and she’s off to Cuba to fall in love.

Impressive vocal performances throughout do justice to the well-known score, including a truly superb version of Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat by the gifted Conner Love-Foster as Nicely-Nicely Johnson.

Other stand-out performances include Will Fisher as Benny Southstreet and an endearing turn by Harry Cowper as Uncle Arvide.

Star of the show, however, must go to Asha Ray as Nathan’s long-suffering fiance Adelaide. She gives a perfect rendition of Adelaide’s Lament, bringing both comedy and an element of sadness to the song, while her skill as an actress brings depth to a character which could so easily be portrayed as superficial.

The ensemble, stage crew, lighting and orchestra (directed by James Recknell) all play their part in making this a surprisingly mature and professional production.

Ask me how do I feel? Impressed.

Martine Silkstone

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