Guys and Dolls: Rebel Wilson a West End Delight | Theatre Review
Nathan Detroit is desperate: he needs money for an illegal dice game, and he needs it fast. Not to mention a 14 year engagement with night‑club singer Miss Adelaide whose patience is finally running out. Enter notorious gambler Sky Masterson, a guy who can never turn down a bet, and straight‑laced missionary Sarah Brown, a doll with a heart of ice. The wager: Sky has to romance Sarah by taking her to Havana for dinner and in return he’ll provide a dozen ‘sinners’ for Sarah’s mission. Surely this is one bet Nathan absolutely can't lose?
Sinners, saints and everything in-between. Guys and Dolls is a staple in movie and stage musical history spawning memorable numbers like "Adelaide's Lament", "I'll Know", "Sit down, You're Rockin' the Boat", "Marry the Man Today" and "Luck be a Lady".
While Guys and Dolls suffers from historical fatigue, in the way it seems even West End and Broadway productions seem more like high school productions more than million pound productions. It's one of those paradox's that is only as good as the cast on the stage.
While everyone involved is amazing, the dated feel of Guys and Dolls is all too evident. Adalaide is the star of the show while everyone else falls into line behind her. It's one of these strange circumstances where a star is announced for a show and you have to do a double take.
Rebel Wilson has been a favourite of ours for the longest time and in as Adalaide in Guys and Dolls she shines like a shooting star, darting in and out of scenes with such force that she shines so incredibly brightly. Her antics and devil may care approach to the role and from the outside looking in; life, adds to the unpredictable nature of her appearances on stage.
There were moments we felt may have been thrown in by Rebel which not only had the audience in stitches but those sharing the stage with her too. Her comic ability is second to none. She's unafraid to show her critics her fuller figure which is sublime, big is beautiful people and fuck you body shamers who think otherwise. Rebel's turn as a dancer is both effortless and exhilerating when coupled with a mastered approach to moves and facial expressions. This is a woman who whole heartedly knows who she is and is ready to share that with the world. She's a force of nature, unafraid to share her talent.
Her rendition of Adalaide's Lament is both hilarious and heart warming. Alongside the cast of Guys and Dolls she blends and gels with those around her.
Speaking of the rest of the cast.Simon Lipkin takes on the role of Nathan Detroit the man who takes commitment to a whole new level, his silky smooth vocals are dreamy and his double act alongside Rebel is a joy to watch. Oliver Tompsett was missing from our performance and we're thinking Jonathan Stewart stepped up to the plate to take on Sky Masterson the luckiest gambler on earth who takes one bet which leads him down a new path. Jonathan was already fighting an uphill battle with me, as a long time Wicked fan, Ollie had my heart but by the time we got to "I've Never Been in Love Before" I was taking off my boxers and ready to throw them at the stage.
Siubhan Harrison plays the wonderful Sarah Brown, a Salvation Army general who finds herself under the Sky Masterson spell. It's a magical performance and while the score seemed high for her vocals, the lower registries is where magic happened. She was both forceful and forthright and a little bit fun.
Rebel Wilson may have stolen the show for us but the cast of Guys and Dolls are stars in their own right, a true look at what the West End has to offer beyond the Hollywood Stars, the former pop stars and the reality TV crowd.
While this production ebbs and flows between hilarity and dullness, it's a show that needs to be seen. The score and songs are beautifully rendered by the talent on stage and even if you only know one song going in, you'll walk away singing the rest.
This one is fun for all the family although with Rebel in play who knows cucumber she'll break next (You'll get it when you see the show.)
Pure old school musical magic, this is most certainly a must see.
Before we leave it though, there's one more queen we have to salute for a performance and vocal ability that was insanely on point Gavin Spokes, your dedication and attitude throughout "Sit Down You're Rockin' The Boat" was immense, it was entertaining, and one of those moments in theatre that the audience will leave talking about. Top notch. You sir along with the rest of your colleagues are the staple of an amazing west end cast, the reasons why the west end is a joy to visit time and again.