Tuesday, August 16

Guys and Dolls – Alexandra Theatre

BMOS Musical Theatre Company has returned to The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham stage with their rendition of the popular Broadway classic musical, Guys and Dolls. BMOS are Birmingham’s award-winning musical theatre company, clearly excited to bring this funny musical story of luck, gambling, and love under the bright lights of Broadway to life. Guys and Dolls has been enjoyed by audiences since the 1950s, initially as a musical, then as a film starring Marlon Brando, Gene Simmons, Frank Sinatra, and Vivian Blaine.

Tonight’s press showing coincided with the BSL (British Sign language) performance, and it was nice to see this inclusion within the theatre on stage, allowing the theatre to be accessible to everybody.

The production values of this performance were incredible. There were many different sets and many costume changes and all of these were slick and effortless. Through the attention to detail, the audience feels as if they were transported to Havana, as well as feeling immersed in the New York City lifestyle. The hotbox girls wore some daring outfits, especially during their performance of ‘Take Back Your Mink.’ And on that note, it’s important to say that the music in this production is wonderful, it’s lovely to hear the band playing hits such as ‘Luck Be a Lady Tonight’, ‘Marry the Man Today’, and ‘Sit down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.’

Whilst many parts of this show were very entertaining and well-rehearsed, some aspects did let it down. The dance routines were rather lacklustre, part of this was due to poor stage presence by some of the supporting cast. At times the stage looked cluttered, and the routines felt under rehearsed. This was particularly noticeable when dance techniques such as canon and unison were used. It seemed that the more complicated the choreography or motifs, the more out of time the dancers were.

A special mention must go to Jo Smith, who played the part of Miss Adelaide and Pat Pryce, who took on the role of Nathan Detroit. Their performances were outstanding, and their chemistry was undeniable. Jo was a particularly brilliant singer, who had a very broad vocal range, whilst Pat had impeccable comedic timing always getting the audience to laugh. In contrast to this, the other two leads of the show, Annabel Pilcher, who played Sarah Brown and James Gordanifar who played Sky Masterson lacked believable chemistry. At times their performances felt a bit awkward, and there was less of a rapport between the pair, even as the show progressed, and their characters became more familiar with one another.

Overall, this was a good show, and I did enjoy watching this production. However, I do believe it did lack refinement, and perhaps with a few more rehearsals would be a good show. It was nice to see an old classic like Guys and Dolls brought back to life for the younger generation to experience.

Guys and Dolls is on at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until the 2nd of July, tickets are available at the following link. https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/guys-and-dolls/the-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/

Reviewer: Priya Gupta

Reviewed: 29th June 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★