Matthew Burns

GUYS AND DOLLS

This week saw Powell Hall taken back to New York in the 1920s, the stage bedecked with horses and dice and a full lighting rig in place. The inaugural production by new Head of Drama Cathy Want is the Pulitzer-winning musical Guys and Dolls, the first full school show to take place in Powell Hall in nearly five years.  

One of the great American classics, Guys and Dolls is based on short stories by the American author Damon Runyan, who wrote romantically of the bygone era of Broadway in the 1920s in an era of alcoholic prohibition. 

The show saw fifty pupils from across the whole school involved in a huge number of ways; from follow-spot operators to stage management and makeup, from the cast on stage to the pupils performing in the live orchestra alongside professional musicians under the direction of Chris Allinson, Director of Music.

The show was led by a quartet of strong singers and actors; Harry Bolton (SH) gave an assuredly suave performance as Sky Masterson, particularly in his big second act number “Luck Be A Lady”, while Laylah Scott (R) proved winning as the object of his affections, the uptight missionary Sarah Brown.  

Finn Askins (P) brought charming caddishness to the role of Nathan Detroit, in a long-term engagement with Maddie Robinson’s (CH) Adelaide whose “lament” for her literal “love sickness” is a major comedic highlight.  Even smaller parts had a chance to shine, as Will Player (SH) as Nicely Nicely Johnson brings the house down with a raucous, rabble-rousing rendition of the classic “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat”.

The production has been a huge undertaking for all involved – this week has seen some of the cast not only performing but also playing hockey at a regional competitive level and sitting academic examinations – and the end product is a testament to the commitment and enthusiasm of the pupils and staff.

ANH

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