Guys and Dolls Musical

By Oscar Boswell, Musical Captain

Musicals always feel like a gamble: will the show be as good as the one two years ago; why do the songs feel so hard; can any school band really play such sophisticated music; how could there be so few rehearsals remaining; and are the ticket sales okay?

Radford Theatre Company's production of Guys and Dolls faced the odds and won, not least thanks to its superb directors, Ms Tracy Bourne and Mrs Alira Prideaux, and to the inspirational conducting by Mr Caleb Campbell. Yet every time I am involved with a production at Radford, I am also amazed at what the students achieve. The depth and breadth of talent in co-curricular drama, Mr Nick Akhurst's tech drama class and the Tech Crew were on full display in Guys and Dolls. Students were behind its every aspect: set, staging, props, lighting, sound, and music. More than 90 of us – the largest Radford production group in years – acted, sang, danced, played, and ran the tech with a strong sense of community and determined professionalism. Guys and Dolls is a great vehicle for collaboration, in part because of its many key roles, both on stage and among the instrumentalists.

A number of character parts were double cast, with each cast bringing their own flavour and individual interpretations to the comic roles of Sky, Sarah, Adelaide, Nathan, and Nicely. Other memorable figures of musicality and hilarity included Benny, Harry the Horse, Arvide, Big Jule, and Lieutenant Brannigan. Most importantly, the opening and closing vignettes of 'Runyonland' and the showstopping numbers, 'Luck Be a Lady' and 'Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat', proved that this was a musical for the ensemble and for the amazing band musicians as much as for the leads. Friends were made across year groups, lights came up and went down again, and everybody who rolled the dice on the show this year won.