Guys and Dolls

Date 17th May 2012
Society Hexham Amateur Stage Society
Venue Queen’s Hall, Hexham
Type of Production Musical?
Director Aline Watson
Musical Director Jim Laidlow


Author: Michael L Avery

So, my first report as Regional Rep. for Area 5 and not a bad place to start. Firstly, I feel this is a vastly undervalued show. From the first few bars of the overture, I was hooked by the great, fondly remembered Frank Loesser score. Damon Runyon’s tales of gangsters and gamblers can still draw you in and make you care about the characters, even though they are broad, cartoon-like creations.

Hexham did a great job with some very American dialogue and humour. Almost every wisecrack received a smile, chuckle or belly laugh although Nathan’s line about trading his imaginary kids to the Phillies, as always, skirted straight across the heads of a British audience. It’s invidious to mention individual players in such a large, primarily ensemble cast but I must confess to a couple of prejudices – Miss Adelaide (Mari Stewart)’s Lament – “a poyson could develop a cold” and Nicely Nicely Johnson (Henry Teuma) & the Boys bravura rendition of Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat. Space alone precludes me from mentioning many more by name but it would be uncharitable not to credit Kenny Toal (Nathan Detroit), Garfield Nairn (Sky Masterson) and Ruby Westlake (Sarah Brown) who, together with Mari, held the whole show together. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a very painless writing debut for me. It was also a real pleasure to meet so many Officers of the Society who made me and wife Kath feel so very welcome.