A Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production of Guys and Dolls.
A musical fable of Broadway, based on the story and characters of Damon Runyon Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser Book by Jo Swearling and Abe Burrows Directed by Michael Buffong.
This Christmas director Michael Buffong transports the smash-hit musical Guys and Dolls up-town to 1939 Harlem. In the UK’s first all-Black cast production of this iconic show.
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– 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 re-imagined Guys and Dolls is developed with the award winning hip-hop dancer and choreographer Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy.
Director Michael Buffong said:”Pre-war Harlem was all about the hustle. The creativity of that era was born from a unique collision of talent and circumstance. People escaped the agricultural and oppressive South via the ‘underground railroad’ into the highly urbanised and 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. With unforgettable songs including ‘Luck be a lady, ‘Sit down your’e rocking the boat, are the infectious title number, this high-energy production captures the secrecy and romance of living on the edge.
Ray Fearon has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was the first Black actor in four decades to play the title role in Othello at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1999. In addition to other RSC productions such as Hecuba and Julius Caesar, his stage credits include A Raisin in the sun (Royal Exchange Theatre) and Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe). His film credits include Beauty and The Beast, The Foreigner and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. His TV work includes Da Vinci’s Demons, Snatch and Coronation Street.
Michael Buffong is the Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company. His credits for the Royal Exchange Theatre include the critically acclaimed King Lear, All My Sons (with Don Warrington) and A Raisin in The Sun. Other theatre credits include: God’s Property (Talawa Theatre Company, Soho Theatre and the Albany); The Serpent’ Tooth (Talawa Theatre Company and Almeida Theatre); Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (Royal National Theatre).
Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy is Co-Founder Co-Artistic Director of Boy Blue Entertainment, Associate Artists of the Barbican, and one of the top choreographers and performers in the UK urban, commercial and theatrical scenes. Kenrick’s credits are extensive and include theatre, TV and film, both nationally and internationally. BBE’s most recent work, Blak Whyte Gray, was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.
The cast: Koko Basigara, Toyan Thomas-Browne, Nathanael Campbell, Darren Charles, Ewen Cummins. Also Chelsey Emery, Evonnee Bentley-Holder, Kurt Kansley, Danielle Kassaraté, Fela Lufadeju, Melanie Marshall, Ako Mitchell, Javar Parker, Joe Speare, Jaime Tait, Trevor A Toussaint and T’shan Williams.
Musical Supervisor Nigel Lilley and Musical Director Mark Aspinall return to the Exchange following their work on the award-winning sell-out musical Sweet Charity.
Production will run from 2 December 2017 – 27 January 2018
TNT Art & Culture