Worle Operatic and Dramatic Society (WODS) have just produced one hell of an opening night!
Guys and Dolls transformed a sticky night in Weston-super-Mare into life on the hip streets of downtown New York and Damon Runyon’s timeless theme of saintly salvation vying with the delights of damnation had a packed audience entranced from the very beginning.
Even before the opening curtain, the show tunes were being enthusiastically produced by a real life orchestra, which tuned us into the right era very smoothly.
The opening scene introduces us to a cohort of shady characters, including the wonderfully named ‘Nicely Nicely’ Johnson and the cash-strapped but eternally inventive Nathan Detroit. They are racking their brains to find a safe venue to run a Crap game, basically betting on the outcome of rolling dice; entirely illegal both during this era and still so in many American states.
We then meet the intimidating but ineffective Lieutenant Brannigan, the earnestly evangelical folk of the Save a Soul mission, and the wonderfully scatty Miss Adelaide, engaged to Nathan for a jaw dropping 14 years!
Thus the scene is set, and enter Sky Masterson, who is quickly betting that he will be able to persuade the lovely Sister Sarah to join him for an evening in the fleshpots of Havana…fat chance, you’d think, but being offered a chance to save a job lot of sinners in one fell swoop proves too great a temptation for the passionate Sarah (plus the fact she fancies the pants off the smooth talking Sky!)
The scene changes involved in this production are frequent and very slickly carried out, the choreography is sharp and sassy, and some of the most iconic show tunes are ones I really enjoyed hearing again, ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat’ being one that had me joining in enthusiastically, though sadly in between fits of coughing.
In true Hollywood fashion, true love conquers all, the long suffering showgirl and the feisty Salvationist get the men of their dreams (good luck with that one!) and we have had a great night out in the company of the wonderful WODS cast.
The good news is that you have the chance to join in the fun by getting along to the 2 remaining performances … get your tickets NOW!
Guys and Dolls runs at The Playhouse, Weston until 6th July
- Image by Stewart McPherson, with thanks