Guys and Dolls

Tue 21st – Sat 25th January 2014

reviews

Emily Brearley-Bayliss

at 17:48 on 23rd Jan 2014

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This brilliant and bubbly performance of ‘Guys and Dolls’ by DULOG was a perfect way to showcase the very best musical and acting talent that Durham has to offer. The venue, The Gala Theatre, gave the performance an air of professionalism – I completely forgot that I was watching student theatre at all. The whole piece was accompanied perfectly by the by the band. Musical Director, Roberto Green, did a great job of organising and directing the twenty four-piece orchestra. The music also provided the perfect distraction from the elaborate scene changes.

The set design was inspired and was a flawless reflection on the dirty, chaotic nature of the city, and the musical itself. This, added to the fact that almost all of the performers brilliantly imitated and maintained the sleazy, New York drawl, meant that the audience was completely immersed in the characters’ world.

The story throws together the guys and the dolls, the saints and the sinners, with both catastrophic and heart-warming consequences, and was brought to life by the enthusiasm and talent of the cast. The two main relationships were incredibly well done – the sexual tension between the uptight Sarah (Lucy Rowlanes) and flirtatious Sky (Michael Forde) was a joy to watch, and it was nice to see an onstage couple have so much chemistry. Nathan (Callum Kenny) and Adelaide’s (Sophie McQuillan) hilariously erratic relationship never failed to make the audience giggle, and McQuillan absolutely stole the show.

However, the show would have been nothing without the chorus. Everyone involved in this performance gave it their all, and the hours of hard work that had clearly been put into this show came across on stage. The guys and the girls lived up to expectation, and gave great performances, proving that not only can they sing, but dance as well, and the choreography by Susie Hudson made me want to get up and join in!

There were a few moments that were slightly weak and not as polished as they should have been, but I have no doubt that by the end of the run any kinks will have been ironed out. However, the rest of the show overshadowed any shaky moments; some of the more complicated scenes, which required the timing and coordination to be spot on, such as the fight scene in Cuba, were executed flawlessly.

All in all this was a truly fantastic, feel-good performance, and every single member of the audience walked out tapping their feet and with a smile on their face. Definitely worth the slightly higher price for the tickets!

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