Guys and Dolls: No need to rely on lady luck

Kris Lavin takes a sneak peek behind the scenes of Guys and Dolls

guys and dolls the bloomsbury theatre ucl musical theatre

Being ushered into the backstage area before a performance of Guys and Dolls is a bit like being flung into a crowd scene in a bizarre disaster movie that's set in the 1950s.

People with worried expressions on their faces bustling to and fro; quick, desperate questions being fired at anyone who might be able to help. New York scum bags with sleeveless shirts and elaborate waistcoats litter the corridors. Somewhere, lots of people are singing something.

“This has been a year of my life.” says Rose Davis, the play's producer, as a member of the crew delivers her dinner in a plastic container.

“It's been really hard getting everything to come together, but it's so worth it. It's going to be the best three days ever.”

As the big band swings into action and the curtain begins to rise on the show's first full dress rehearsal, it's already clear that a lot of work has gone into this production. The music is just brilliant, perfectly setting the 1950s New York scene – it's a reason to see the show alone.

The set is sparse yet innovative, with little more than two giant metamorphosing cubes and a few pieces of furniture to set the scene, and the lighting does the rest.

If the music and the shape-shifting set fail to hold your attention, the show itself is packed full of enough old-timey American musical goodness to keep you transfixed. The full-cast dance numbers; the sharp, witty script, the impressive singing and the challenge for the actors of sustaining a New York accent for nearly three hours are all very entertaining prospects.

If the dress run is anything to go by – and it probably is – this is a show that will definitely be worth seeing. Go buy a ticket, ya filthy bum!

Venue: The Bloomsbury Theatre
Performances: Thursday March 1st – Saturday 3rd March at 7.30pm
Tickets: £10, £8 concessions, £5 UCL. Book tickets from or call the box office on 020 7388 8822


Photographs by Mustafa Shafqat.