Lichfield Operatic Society have pulled out all the stops for their latest production at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre and the results are fantastic. The attention to detail across the board is palpable and combined with an array of excellent performances, the company breathe new life into this old classic of a show.
Guys & Dolls is based on short stories by author and reporter Damon Runyan. He was celebrated for recording snapshots of New York City life in his writing. From the opening sequences, the audience for this production are treated to similar snapshots of the busy city and its inhabitants, with the strong chorus portraying tourists and city workers from the upper class to the down at heel. Jessica Lambert’s clever choreography combined with superb direction from Julie Mallaband ensures that the audience are drawn in to the scene from the outset and swept into the Broadway storyline. Completing the production team, musical director Mark Timms ensures that both vocals and the wonderful instrumental score are well-balanced and in tune with each character.
Performances across the board are extremely strong, with many small cameo roles drawing a great reaction from the audience; particularly on the repeated parade of lost souls in the Salvation Army brigade. Some wonderful characterisation here which really made individuals stand out despite a lack of lines or time in the spotlight being scripted. There are good supporting performances too from Patrick Jervis as Benny Southstreet and David Madeley as Arvide Abernath, while Oliver Rowe as Nicely Nicely Johnson ensures that the popular and always highly-anticipated Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat fulfils the audiences expectations for an energetic, foot-tapping routine.
It is the quartet of principles that really shine however and who take the production to a near-professional level. Charlotte Middleton (Sarah Brown), Pete Beck (Sky Masterson), Nathan Detroit (James Pugh) and Vickie Beck (Miss Adelaide) are a joy to behold. Each perfectly cast and creating a wonderful working partnership that is particularly apparent in the duet combinations; together they presented fantastic vocals and wonderful comic moments throughout.
This production proved that Lichfield Operatic Society have a lot of talented, creative members both on and offstage and it will be interesting to see what they do next.
In the meantime, you can still catch the rolling dice game at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre until Saturday.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.