Thursday, 3 May 2012

Guys & Dolls (musical theatre)

If you saw La Cage Aux Folles at the Devonshire Park or Much Ado About Nothing at the Italian Gardens last year, you'll already be aware of how professional EODS shows are. The Eastbourne Operatic & Dramatic Society has been putting on operas, plays and musicals almost continually since 1907 and they have certainly got it down to a fine art.

I loved their La Cage Aux Folles, particularly as I had previously only seen the film version, not the stage show which was performed with great energy and a wonderful nightclub cabaret atmosphere. 

This year's musical is Guys & Dolls which I have also missed out on seeing before so I am looking forward to discovering the show. It is based on short stories written by Damon Runyon in the 1920s and 1930s, primarily about gangsters, gamblers and the New York Underworld, and the musical is faithful to Runyon's world view. The fourteen songs were penned by Frank Loesser and include Luck Be A Lady, A Bushel And A Peck and also Sit Down You're Rockin The Boat which was performed in the pilot episode of Glee.

EODS have filmed this short video at rehearsals and the dance numbers look like they are going to be great fun to watch!

Devonshire Park Theatre, Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th May, evenings 19:30.
Wednesday & Saturday matinees, 14:30.
Tickets £13, £14 & £15, various discounts available.

Have written my review in the Comments below.


1 comment:

  1. EODS Guys & Dolls review: Slight concern at the opening of the opening night because we arrived to find everyone outside and a fire engine just leaving! However, all was soon back on track and none of the cast seemed phased by the 15 minute hiatus.
    The company always excel at big production numbers and the first street scene for Guys & Dolls is no exception. A great set and all those amazing suits! Everyone who was involved in the costuming has done a tremendous job and the show's look is fabulous throughout. Think of the Jim Carrey film, Mask, and you might get an idea of the effect. The Hot Box dancers were suitably alluring(!), although they did suffer from a lack of space on the stage, and the bench choreography in Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat was brilliant. Nathan and Adelaide are larger-than-life characters and both actors gave inspired performances. Nathan's sidekicks, Nicely-Nicely and Benny, have a good sense of the comedy of their characters and were fun to watch. As a sober foil to the gangsters, the Mission band are understated but I liked Sarah Brown who was completely believable in her role and an unexpected delight was Abernathy's song which he sang very movingly. The Crapshooters Ballet must have taken hours to perfect and was worth all the effort. I liked the way the suits seemed to glow in the dingy lighting of the sewer set - very effective.
    Unfortunately, though no fault of EODS, I just didn't really love the actual musical itself. It seemed overlong and, particularly in the first half, was lacking the necessary great songs to drive it. A shame as there are excellent individual scenes and set pieces but the overall show was missing 'sparkle'.