Performance Review: Guys and Dolls

On Wednesday, the 2nd of March, BUSMS ignited the stage of Bath’s ICIA with a vibrant, lively and dramatic performance of Guys and Dolls. The musical, originally by Frank Loesser, first made an appearance on Broadway in 1950. Since then, the award-winning classic has been adapted numerous times on various stages.

BUSMS’ incredible performance kicked off with musical contributions by the band, led by the musical director Maria Carnarius. From the first moments of the show the meticulously put together set, painted from scratch for this production, stood out and created a memorable visual. The director of the show, Luke Waddon, his assistant Hannah Steiner, and the fantastic cast and crew put the play together in only five weeks.

Following the traditional structure of a musical, the story was interjected by numerous singing and dance scenes, which led to many surprising performances. For instance, the mission ensemble brought out the voice of Lorna Young, showcasing incredible talent not only from the lead actors. The crap-shooters, the hot box girls and the mission ensembles performed memorable dance scenes, showcasing a choreography of outstanding creativity.

The story line stayed true to the classic tale. Nathan, portrayed by George Kendrick, runs an illegal crap game. He is simultaneously dealing with his relationship with Adelaide, played by Maria Bell. Bell’s portrayal of the character was characterized by a strong stage presence, and the interplay between the duo was both striking and amusing. The other leading couple was the gambler Sky, portrayed by Dan Soltys, who falls in love with a mission sergeant Sarah, played by India Rose. The couple performed beautiful duets together, both presenting strong voices. India Rose hit numerous high notes, leaving the audience amazed. Rose’s romantic interactions with Soltys left the audience on their toes at all times, cheering on the developing love between Sky and Sarah.

Another strong aspect of this musical was the interplay of the characters, both in song and acting performance. Whether it was the three gamblers, the ensembles or the dynamic couples, the cast interacted wonderfully.

Overall, the portrayal of the characters was very realistic and given additional flair through flamboyant costumes. The producer, Elizabeth Pereira, sourced all of the costumes, making the characters come alive on stage. The cast also invested tremendous effort into authenticating their roles, by reflecting the context of the time through old-school New Yorker accents. The cast truly managed to bring their unique input and character traits into the performance and make the production their own.

The quality of the show was vastly clear from the first musical interaction. The cast is extremely talented and this was brought out well through excellent directing. The enthusiasm of the cast transferred onto the audience, creating a vibrant atmosphere throughout the performance.

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