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November 19, 2014

Guys & Dolls

That’ll do Nicely-Nicely! Frank Loesser’s Guys n Dolls is an old favourite amongst musical theatre fans, and rightly so. Its relentlessly toe tapping musical score and amusing array of characters create laughter and fun from the moment the conductor strikes up the band.  Pirton Players Musical Director, Margaret Johnson, was clearly on a mission to ensure that the contributions of her band were in perfect harmony with those of the on stage performers. Her energy and precision in the pit was unstoppable, perhaps matched only by the impeccable pianist, Clifton Hughes. All night long, the music bounced along, creating the perfect backdrop to the on stage action. Pirton Players stalwart, Graham Gibbs, crossed the footlights to make his directorial debut. By no means an easy show to put together, he showed no first night nerves with his pacey production. Despite the limited performing space, his cast made maximum use of the stage and the auditorium in order to showcase their talents. His skilful use of photo montages, as well as the set, lighting and costumes generally, all helped to create atmosphere.  The enthusiastic chorus sang heartily, with the Hot Box Girls all adding lashings of glitz and glamour to the night. The experienced principal line up handled their roles with assurance, with the audience being treated to some really genuine star turn moments.  As the endearing, yet faintly ridiculous Miss Adelaide, Alison Gibbs turned in a very able performance. Her dizzy, Bronxy twanging Adelaide was a treat, particularly in her scenes with her seemingly eternal fiancé, Nathan Detroit. As Nathan, Mark Savage was her perfect foil. In contrast to the showiness of Adelaide and Nathan, conservative Salvation Army devotee, Sarah Brown, was well played by Sera Dinmore. Her quality vocals made light work of the challenging vocals. Her initial resistance, then subsequent softening towards the suave Sky Masterson, was well judged. As Masterson, Tom Gammell was a safe pair of hands, giving an assured performance. Special praise must be heaped upon Duncan Sykes as Nicely Nicely Johnson. He and his side-kick, Benny Southwest (Anton Jungreuthmayer) were truly comic. Instinctively funny, they sparked off each other all night. A special mention too for Trevor Clark, whose menacingly deadpan Big Jule was very well done. The enjoyment of this extremely entertaining show was apparent by the reaction of the appreciative audiences. [Review by: Michael Moore]

Director - Graham Gibbs

Producer - Stella Turner

Cast (in order of appearance)
Nicely-Nicely - Johnson Duncan Sykes
Benny Southwest - Anton Jungreuthmayer
Rusty Charlie - Graham Gibbs
Sarah Brown - Sera Dinmore
Arvide Abernathy - Michael Tackley
Agatha - Nicole Santelmann
Calvin - Peter Johnson
Martha - Sophie Davies
Harry the Horse - Dennis Sexton
Lt. Brannigan - Dimos Mouskovias
Nathan Detroit - Mark Savage
Society Max/Master of Ceremonies - Dave Tinney
Liver Lips Louie - Sue Kennedy
Brandy Bottle - Bates Alan Gibbs
Angie the Ox - Dud Gentle
Scranton Slim - Joe Emler
Miss Adelaide - Alison Gibbs
Sky Masterson - Tom Gammell
Joey Biltmore - Aiden Dwyer
General Matilda B. Cartwright - Lorna Sexton
Big Jule - Trevor Clark

Hot Box Girls
Mimi - Justine McCreith
Alison - Denise Thorpe
Furgus - Victoria Turner
Vernon - Melanie Abrook
Bety - Juliet Alexander
Janie - Liz Taylor

Members of the Salvation Army
Pt. Fizz - Fizz Gibbs
Pt. Alison - Alison Cotterill
Pt. Julie - Julie Dawson
Pt. Valmai - Valmai Guess
Pt. Antoinetta - Antonietta Tinney
Pt. Jilly - Jill Rogers
Pt. Ron - Ron Snape

Creative Team

Director - Graham Gibbs
Musical Director - Margaret Johnson
Assistant Director - Loretta Concannon
Producer - Peter Johnson
Choreographers - Amanda Vines, Mark Savage & Margaret Snape
Stage Manager - Paul Kerswill
Stage Crew - Janet Tackley, Phil Carroll, Ruth Smith & Paul Ribbans
Set Building - Dud Gentle, Graham Gibbs, Trevor Clark & Dave Tinney
Set Design - Charlotte Fausett
Scene Painting - Stella Turner, Rebecca Turner, Victoria Turner, Paul Kerswill, Janet Tackley, Sophie Davies, Penny Picken
Props - Janet Tackley
Lighting - Stuart Clark & Stevie Shaw
Sarah - Jane Gumm
Sound - Mark Sadler
Box Office Co-ordinator - Stella Turner
Poster and Programme - Roger Burton
Bar - Edward Picken and team
Front of House - Stella Turner, Rebecca Turner, Sharon Ryan, Val Bryant, Sinead Myerscough
Photographer - Kevin Vines & Rafe Abrook
Costumes - Valmai Guess & Harlequin Costumes
Prompt - Barbara Robertson
Rehearsal Pianist - Clifton Hughes

Keyboard - Clifton Hughes
Violin - Jackie Cowan
Flute - Annette Partridge
Clarinet/Alto Sax - Georgie Cole
Clarinet/Alto Sax - Howard Etherington
Baritone Sax - Lucinda Rowe
Double Bass - Lizzie Rowe

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