Buffong brings all-black cast in ‘Guys and Dolls’

This Christmas, director Michael Buffong transports the smash-hit musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ up-town to 1939 Harlem. This is the UK’s first all-Black cast production of this iconic show.

The show will be celebrating the off-beat stories of Damon Runyon that made the gangsters and hustlers of New York City infamous. Guys and Dolls is co-produced by the Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company. Talawa Theatre Company is the UK’s primary Black-led touring theatre company.

Ray Fearon as the charming Nathan Detroit leads a cast that includes Ashley Zhangazha, Abiona Omonua and Lucy Vandi. The show has been developed with the award-winning hip-hop dancer and choreographer Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy. It runs from 2 December 2017 to 27 January 2018.

“Pre-war Harlem was all about the hustle”, director Michael Buffong said. “The creativity of that era was born from a unique collision of talent and circumstance”, he continued.

He explained that in that time, “people escaped the agricultural and oppressive South via the ‘underground railroad’ into the industrialised North”.

“Much of our popular culture, from dance to music, has its roots in that period. Our Guys and Dolls brings all of this to the fore, in superb, celebratory style”.

Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson take every opportunity to hustle, settling every dispute with a roll of the dice. Lady Luck is on their side, until one night they both take a chance on love. The show has unforgettable songs including Luck be a lady, Sit down you’re rocking the boat and the infectious title number. It is a high-energy production that captures the secrecy and romance of living on the edge.

TNT Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: Royal Exchange Theatre

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