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Guys & Dolls

“Luck if you’ve ever been a lady to begin with, luck be a lady tonight….”

AGS students form Year 9 – 13 gave all their energy and enthusiasm to a fantastic run of their high paced and energetic interpretation of Guys & Dolls in February. Brightly lit Broadway billboards provided the setting for this 1930’s classic tale of gambler guy who meets mission girl. The story however is far from the traditional as the ladies show the fellas whose boss as the audience follows the antics of a series of gamblers and the ladies they are chasing or avoiding in some cases. Pupils gave outstanding performances acting, singing and dancing their way brilliantly from Broadway to Cuba and back again.

The play was opened fantastically by Nicely Nicely Johnson (George Bicknell), Benny (Toby Newton) and Rusty (Adam Davies) tipping off the beautifully choreographed public on the streets of New York with their sure fire horse picking tips and winning harmonies. This energetic intro was interrupted by the dulcet harmonies of the Mission Crew drawing the public in with their mellow rendition of “Follow the Fold”. However their appeals for followers fall on deaf ears as the crowds disperse and a group of gamblers reconvene their hunt for a location for their floating crap game lead by the classic comic timings and suave confidence of Tom Pedley as Nathan Detroit how is struggling to find a suitable location unless he can rustle up $1000 to pay Josie’s garage. However the boys have no doubt that he will succeed as they rally round him in the gambling anthem “Oldest Established” featuring moves Pennywise would have been proud of and a heavenly lift to raise Nathan’s spirits and rally him to action.

It is at this moment that the coolest kid in town Sky Masterson played to precision by Ben Hall ventures onto the scene. Nathan sees his opportunity to make his grand by trying to offer Sky a bet he cannot possibly win, that he can take any doll in the world to Havana in Cuba. It is at that precise moment that exceptionally talented Florence Cain stumbles onto the scene as beautiful, straight laced and man shy missionary Sarah Brown….Nathan grabs his chance and selects Sarah as the lady for Sky knowing that she won’t go anywhere unaccompanied with a gambler such as Sky let alone Cuba!

Sky saunters into the mission and the whole crew catch on to his antics and in a barrage of comedy genius “tactfully” exit the stage leaving Sarah alone with Sky. Sarah and Sky enter into a heated duet debate “I’ll Know” which addresses their very different approaches to finding love, culminating in Sky laying an unexpected smacker on Sarah who responds how any good mission girl should by slapping him across the face. Sky leaves promising to return with sinners to bulk out the mission and convince Sarah to come on a date with him leaving Sarah flustered and riffling through her bible.

Meanwhile Nathan’s search for a venue continues at Josie’s Garage where Katie Squire’s sassy mechanic showed him exactly whose boss sending him packing until he has her money. Nathan stops by the Hot Box to sees his long suffering fiancé Adelaide, played exceptionally by Pheobe Smith, headline the set with her fun and flirty rendition of “A Bushel and A Peck” accompanied by the Hot Box Girls choreographed to perfection by Miss Clarke and rocking outfits sewn by Mrs Clarke in this musical family affair! Adelaide however is suffering inside due to the length of her engagement to Nathan and berates him for his gambling antics before delivering “Adelaide’s Lament” with her bespectacled sidekicks.

A determined Sky stops by the mission again to see if he can persuade Sarah a second time and stumbles into anarchy as General Cartwright is threatening to close down the branch. Sky saves the day by promising to provide many sinners for their weekly meeting and suggesting an all-night crusade against the devil, this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and Sarah agrees to go to Cuba in exchange for the dastardly deal.