Yarm School Guys & Dolls Review
It may be about a game of chance in Manhattan’s underbelly. But nothing had been left to Lady Luck in Yarm School’s production of Guys & Dolls.
The cast had taken rehearsing to a whole new level, bringing in American vocal coach Heather Watts to hone their New York accents and mannerisms. And it showed in flawless performances from start to finish.
Jessica Adams, who is surely destined for West End stardom, led the 48-ensemble as the long-suffering club singer Miss Adelaide, sneezing her way through a show-stopping version of Adelaide’s Lament; “in other words, just from waiting around for that plain little band of gold, a person can develop a cold.”
She was adeptly partnered by Yazdan Qafouri Isfahani as her commitment-phobic small-time crook, fiancé of 14 years Nathan Detroit, with the pair doing vocal battle in Sue Me, as Miss Adelaide bemoans the years she’s wasted waiting for him to marry her.
Dominic Ryan is equally charismatic as the ultimately reformed gambler Sky Masterson, bringing a suitable swagger to offset Evelyn Jesuraj’s wistful, soaring vocals as his reluctant love interest, Salvation Army mission sergeant Sarah Brown.
Both pairings in the central quartet play up their relationship woes with melancholy and impeccable comedic timing.
But it’s not all about romance in what Sarah describes as “the Devil’s own city”. Sky’s brassy anthem, Luck Be A Lady and the toe-tapping You’re Rockin’ the Boat have the 750-strong audience clapping along.
Alex Dunn as Big Jule gets the most laughs, bringing his own blank dice to a high-stakes crap game.
Guys and Dolls is back in the West End from March and if any understudies are needed, they need look no further than Yarm.
Such is the talent and confidence of the cast, it’s hard to remember that this is a school production. They could easily be treading the boards on a provincial theatre tour.
They win a standing ovation, led by deservedly-proud headmaster David Dunn, who reminds us Miss Adelaide and co all have to be back in the classroom in the morning, before giving another two evening performances. The audience files out humming the songs from the show; a sure bet that Yarm School has more than done justice to one of the best loved musicals of all time.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Liz Hands .