Lucia Revel-Chion

 It is a truth universally acknowledged that sometimes all you need is two hours’ worth of catchy musical numbers to lift your spirits as the end of term approaches. Okay, so maybe those weren’t Jane Austen’s words exactly, but the cast and crew in the final stages of rehearsals for Cambridge University’s Lent Term Musical, Guys and Dolls, would certainly argue its case.

Having won an abundance of Tony and Olivier awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical, Frank Loesser’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ first premiered on Broadway in 1950, where it ran for over 1200 performances. Loesser’s narrative is often considered to be synonymous with a very particular image of 1950s New York. Small-time gambler, Nathan Detroit, is in need of a location to host the illegal crap game that he facilitates. But, in order to source the cash he so desperately needs to do this, he decides to wager a bet with the most charming and self-assured gambler of them all, Sky Masterson, that Sky cannot possibly take a “doll” of his choosing to Havana. Nathan chooses the very straight-laced Evangelist Sergeant Sarah Brown, and as the worlds of gamblers and missionaries unexpectedly collide, Guys and Dolls is a perfect example of how love can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

Lucia Revel-Chion

Professional director Dale Vivirito described Guys and Dolls as, "a timeless take on the battle of the sexes, as portrayed by Sky and Sarah and Nathan and Adelaide." When adapting Guys and Dolls for the ADC stage, Director Phoebe Rowell John was keen to retain this, while simultaneously endeavouring to create a production that reinvented the show’s characters, developing, particularly the female protagonists, Sarah and Adelaide, into nuanced and three-dimensional roles. So often portrayed as beautiful yet brainless, we have explored the idea of an Adelaide that is empowered and knowing. An Adelaide that can actually read and can pronounce “psychosomatic” without painful difficulty on stage. It has been fascinating to discuss as how her desperation to marry her fiancée of fourteen years, Nathan, stems from so many societal pressures and a genuine concern that she is soon to be past her prime, a concern that I am sure has been felt by many women universally, both in the 1950s and today.


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The vast scale of Cambridge’s Lent Term Musical requires an extremely large production team who work so hard to bring the production to life. And, with an incredible cast comprised of 22 of Cambridge’s finest musical theatre talents, this musical has been a joy to work on so far. Expect some extraordinary all-singing, all-dancing routines and prepare for songs that will be stuck in your head for weeks to come!

As one of the most renowned and well-loved musicals ever, this crazy world of dice-rolling and nightclub dancing in the Big Apple has proven that it really is timeless at heart, as it continues to entertain audiences some seventy years after its release. We would love nothing more than for you to come along and share it with us.

Guys and Dolls is on from 11th-21st March at the ADC Theatre, 7:45pm.

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