Edinburgh Evening News review of Guys and Dolls

By Josie Balfour

Guys and Dolls
Inverleith Church Hall

Nathan Detroit, a sly and mischievous Sean Quinn, has been stepping out with Adelaide for as long as anyone can remember.

Which suits such a man about town right down to the lower ground floor of the Empire State Building. Adelaide, a sumptuous and sublime Rio Brady, however, is a lady with a mother who would not understand. This has placed Miss Adelaide in a very delicate situation, the stress of which has caused an upper respiratory inflammation that cannot be resolved unless a gold ring is placed on the third finger of her left hand.

Behind his beloved’s back and, naturally, that of the law, Nathan has been running a Craps game which has become somewhat complicated by a shortage of cash. Cash that can only be gleaned from one Sky Masterson, a swell yet understated Philip Ryan.

And the only sure way to part Sky and his money is a gamble. Enter the upstanding and abstemious Sarah Brown, an angel faced and voiced Rebecca Gilhooley, the unwitting victim of Detroit’s cunning swindle. Yet all does not go to plan and, via a complicated series of misadventures, the foursome find themselves entangled in a mishap that might end at the alter.

Taking over the church hall at Inverleith this week, these young ruffians and their fellow miscreants are sharing their version of these troubling events nightly. Included in their high-falutin’ family friendly hijinks are some outstanding musical numbers, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat and Take Back Your Mink perfectly capturing the spirit of Damon Runyon’s New York street hustlers.

Yet not all of their congregation of sinners is as stretched as the main quartet, nor are they challenged by the nature of the project they have embarked upon, having visited this story’s particular neighbourhood before. Straddling uncomfortably that dangerously thin line between school play and the success of their previous productions, Forth Children’s Theatre continually tease the audience with tantalising glimpses of their ability through the veneer of a very conventional account of Runyon’s best known proceedings.

Broadway Baby Review of Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls
Inverleith Church Hall

Guys and Dolls is based on the well known Hollywood film and stage musical. The storyline is set in the 1940’s around a couple of gamblers who are involved in the oldest permanent floating craps game in New York City. Nathan Detroit, who is hosting the game, is in desperate need of $1,000 and makes a bet with Sky Masterson that Sky cannot make a particular girl fall for him. Sky bets that whoever it is, he will be able to take her to Havana for dinner the next day. Nathan chooses Sara, who is running the local Mission. Will Sky succeed or will Sara be able to resist his charms? Will Sara manage to find enough sinners to be able to keep her Mission going?

The Forth Children’s Theatre has a long successful history of bringing productions to Edinburgh. Their staging is always spectacular but is significantly different every year as they develop new ways of using Inverleith Church Hall. For Jekyll & Hyde the stage was placed at the end of the hall. Last year, for Ragtime, it was in the middle but for Guys And Dolls it’s set along the length of the hall. This has the effect of making it more intimate; nobody is more than a few rows from the stage. But it also allows the action to move from side to side as well as backwards and forwards. At times there are multiple scenes taking place at once.

The production moves along very quickly, with barely a pause for breath. It’s quite long, at over two and a half hours including an interval, but it never drags for a moment.

The age range of the children in the company means that some of the performers are fully grown while others are still very small. The quality of the acting is so high that this makes no difference at all.

Singing and dancing are excellent throughout, particularly in some of the large ensemble numbers which made full use of the large stage, such as ‘Luck Be A Lady Tonight’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat’.

Definitely not to be missed.

The Fringe Looms

Tomorrow (sunday 25th July) sees most of the cast and some of the technical team regroup as we get into final shape for this year’s festival priduction of Guys and Dolls.

Early reports suggest that the show is selling well at the Fringe Box Office, and by all accounts it’s shaping up to be a cracker – Irene Hogg, our dearly beloved Company Stage Manager, was raving about the final rehearsal before the split!

All the best gang.  Come back refreshed and ready to Rock’n’Roll.  (Except it’s not Rock ‘n’Roll is it? Ed.)

FCT Announces its 2010 festival production and invites you to audition for Guys and Dolls

Forth Children’s Theatre is proud to announce its 2010 Fringe production of Guys and Dolls.

The show will run from 6th – 14th August and be performed at Inverleith Church Hall, Ferry Road.  It will be directed by Claire Stewart who will be revisiting the show that she first directed to critical acclaim in 2002.  Claire’s most recent production for FCT was 2008’s Jeckyll & Hyde.

Set in the 1940’s, Guys and Dolls is a highly popular piece of musical theatre known for memorable characters, hilarious dialogue and a fantastic score.  This winning formula is sure to have audiences on their feet.  Featuring classic songs such as Rocking the Boat and Luck be a Lady, there is something for everyone in the big company numbers.  We are looking for boys and girls with a talent for acting, singing and dancing.  There is a range of principal parts as well as strong chorus roles to be filled.  Please note that you must be over ten by show date in order to audition.

Auditions are being held on Tuesday 6th April at Trinity Academicals Rugby Club, Craighall Gardens from 10:00 – 16:00.  Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are suitable for dance and movement.  It is also advised to bring a packed lunch as there may not be time to go to the shops.

The day will take the format of morning workshops followed by small group auditions in front of the directing team.  It will be a brilliant experience and involve lots of fun, dancing and meeting new people!  All material will be learnt in the morning so there is no need to plan anything in advance.  Please be prepared to stay until 16:00 although there is chance you may be able to leave earlier depending on when each group is seen.

Rehearsals are due to start on Friday 23rd April 18:30 – 21:30.  Rehearsals will always take place on a Friday night and Sunday afternoon for the company, with principals sometimes being required on a Wednesday evening.

For casting purposes, filming of auditions may take place on the day.  Please highlight to Claire Stewart in advance if there are any problems with this.

It would be much appreciated if you could pass this information onto anyone that you think may be interested.