nathan and adelaide

Alex McDonald-Smith as Nathan Detroit and Charlotte Myerson as Miss Adelaide

Guys and Dolls

Malvern Theatres Young Players

Malvern Theatres


Craps games, tap dancing, the dolls trying to change their guys into responsible husbands – this musical romance comes alive again at the Malvern Theatres as the talented young players are again schooled by a professional team to provide energetic and refreshing entertainment.

Guys and Dolls is set on the seamier side of New York where gambling is the craze in the form of craps. it is the most basic form of gambling where the guys are betting on the roll of a pair of dice. All you need is the dice and a place to meet.

Nathan Detroit is the one they are all look to for the location but, before Joey Biltmore will allow his garage to be so used, he wants his $1,000 in cash up front. Cash-strapped Nathan thinks he is on to a winner when he bets against high-roller Sky Masterson, played by Lewis Allan, being able to take the beautiful ‘mission doll’ Sarah Brown, a fervent Salvationist, to dinner in Havana.

Like a good Shakespearean comedy there are two plots, two couples whose story we are following. Nathan has been stringing Adelaide along for years, and Sarah cannot stop herself falling for the gambler Sky. His eventual conversion lacks any conviction as the script scarcely prepares us for that, but it underlines the generally cynical view of religion. Nonetheless it helps to tie the ends up neatly.

The design for the show is elaborate and very effective, using a revolve to transport us into the different settings – the streets of New York, the meeting hall, Havana, the sewers - but the changes were sometimes a bit slow.

The choreography was excellent: the energy of the boys, the tap-dancing, the ensemble of dancing girls was very effectively directed and made a lively and strong impact.

The costumes are colourful and well-designed, the hats terrific! This all contributes to a strong visual impression.

The acting and singing by a young team was likewise excellent. Lucie Fletcher (Sarah Brown) gave a remarkable performance for a young actress in her first show with this company: she sings beautifully and, after her appropriately wooden interpretation of the street preacher, the mission doll, her scene in Havana, when she has been drinking Bacardi, was acted very effectively. Her reactions when listening to others were very sensitive. She is a real talent.

Adelaide is played by Charlotte Myerson who is also in her debut season with the company. Her voice is at times a bit shrill, but her acting is superb and her voice is well matched to the character. Her psychosomatic ‘cold’ song was brilliant.

Among the boys, Alex McDonald-Smith (Nathan Detroit) and Jacob Buckley (Nicely Nicely) were the best of a strong team, who all delivered their lines clearly. Toby Edwards (Arvide Abernathy) sang notably well.

Many in the very supportive audience stood to applaud at the end, and truly the cast deserve the plaudits. Their energy, evident enthusiasm and cohesion result in a very enjoyable show which runs till Saturday. To 02-09-17

Tim Crow


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