The 2016 West End season got off to a rollicking start this week with Wednesday’s opening of Guys and Dolls, the latest Chichester Festival transfer to the Savoy Theatre, which follows fast on the heels of the last CFT transfer of another Broadway musical revival, Gypsy. It was a surprisingly star-studded, red carpet affair for the first week in January – usually it takes until at least the second week in January to feel like everyone’s back in town.
And, while many of the newspaper critics had already seen and raved about Gordon Greenberg‘s production when it was first staged in Chichester in August 2014, that doesn’t seem to have dampened their enthusiasm for the show the second time around – with solid four-star plaudits pretty much across the board.
Once again, there’s particularly high praise for Jamie Parker‘s performance as slick gambler Sky Masterson – and anticipation for his switch back to plays later this year, when he takes on the role of the adult Harry Potter in JK Rowling two-parter The Cursed Child – as well as for Sophie Thompson, also reprising her Chichester performance fiancee-in-waiting Miss Adelaide. In the West End, and on the show’s extensive tour, the other leads of Nathan Detroit and Sarah Brown, are now played by David Haig and Siubhan Harrison, who’ve taken over from Peter Polycarpou and Clare Foster.
There are also warm plaudits for Gavin Spokes‘ Nicely-Nicely Johnson and his rendition of Guys and Dolls‘ notoriously crowd-pleasing company number, “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” – as evidenced by the number of reviews that choose that image as their lead photo.
Is it all enough to dispel memories of Richard Eyre‘s definitive National Theatre production of Guys and Dolls? That’s the subject of my other blog today.
Here, I’ve rounded up the other main reviews, first night photos and other features from Wednesday’s opening below…
Guys and Dolls continues at the West End’s Savoy Theatre until 12 March 2016, and then tours to Liverpool, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Dublin, Norwich, Southampton, Leeds, Plymouth, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Canterbury, Cardiff, Bristol, Wolverhampton and Woking, where it concludes on 30 July.