The Wokingham Paper

Guys and Dolls is a festive treat from The Mill at Sonning

Guys and Dolls Craps
Guys and Dolls is a festive must-see and it’s at The Mill at Sonning Picture: Andreas Lambis

Guys and Dolls
Until February 23
The Mill at Sonning
0118 696 8000
www.millatsonning.com

The Christmas offering by the Mill at Sonning is the popular musical Guys and Dolls.

Launching in style on November 23rd the Mill was tastefully and festively decorated creating an even warmer and more welcoming atmosphere than usual.

The first treat of the evening was the delicious Christmas menu – in addition to usual favourites was the option of a roast turkey dinner with Christmas pudding and a divine brandy sauce to follow.

The show itself was spectacular.

The cast of 14 made good use of the limited stage area and, with minimal staging and props, transported the audience to the bright lights of New York.

With many roles for principals as well as chorus, there was much effective doubling and quick-changing, the talented cast showing their versatility to portray in turn very different characters.

The story follows the relationships of charismatic fixer Nathan Detroit (Stephane Anelli) and his long-time fiancé Adelaide (Natalie Hope), the masterful gambler Sky Masterson (Richard Carson) and straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown (Victoria Serra). The chemistry between both sets of couples was delightfully convincing and they carried the audience along with them on their turbulent journeys of love.

Highlights of the performance were many and included the joyous energy exuded by nightclub dancers Adelaide and her girls as they gave several brilliantly choreographed offerings.

Also of note were the ensemble performances by the male cast and their beautifully blended close-harmony vocals.

Praise too for the slightly more than tipsy Sarah after her night of drinking cocktails in Havana and the famous number ‘Sit down, you’re rocking the boat’ sung by Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Oliver Jacobson) accompanied by some more terrifically evocative choreography.

What really stole the show was the incredibly high standard of dancing, the audience wowed by the many different styles of dance.

From the high-energy street dances of New York to the hypnotic Latin dance sequences of Havana the cast spun, twirled and leapt their way through a dizzying array of numbers, each one timed and executed to perfection.

The show runs until February 2019 and is a must-see, both for fans of the theatre and this musical or for first-timers.

JUDITH CREIGHTON

 

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