Preview: Guys and Dolls by Longridge Towers

Longridge pupils prepare to stage Guys and Dolls
Longridge pupils prepare to stage Guys and Dolls

If I was a gambling man I’d say, given their good run of form, Longridge Towers must be feeling pretty confident about the show they’re taking to The Maltings tomorrow night.

It’s always hard to predict just what the school will choose for their spring musical having taken audiences from Victorian London to Toad Hall in recent years and their 2014 pick is certainly a bold choice.

Unlike past productions like ‘Annie’ and ‘Oliver’, Frank Loesser’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ is much more akin to an all adult cast so director and teacher Dr Nolan Dalrymple has certainly given his young performers a rather tricky test.

But judging by the answers given when WOW interviewed them during rehearsals last week, the pupils are up for the challenge.

The Broadway hit chiefly concerns itself with the trials and tribulations of two couples - Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide and Skye Masterson and Sarah Brown, who Skye pursues for a bet but ends up falling for.

Looking a lot less green to this time last year, Joel Raine is playing Skye with Georgina Faed as Sarah.

The two became firm friends after starring as Toad and Ratty in ‘The Adventures of Mr Toad’, meaning their on-stage chemistry came very easily.

“It’s almost effortless,” Joel commented.

“Whether it’s singing together or having to be romantic we manage to do it as we get on so well.”

“It’s a good one for us to do as I don’t think people will have expected us to do it,” Georgina added.

“We don’t want to be known for doing just one type of show.”

Like Joel and Georgina, Martine Vrieling van Tuijl and Daniel Flannigan are from different year groups but playing Miss Adelaide and Nathan has brought them closer together.

“They’re a fun couple to play,” Martine enthused.

“Adelaide is waiting for Nathan to propose after 14 years together. She’s very different to the very reserved and polite Rosie I played in ‘The Adventures of Mr Toad’. She’s bold, brassy, comical and at times very emotional.”

“I actually went for a different part but got cast as Nathan,” Daniel commented.

“It’s a really great part to play with lots of good songs.”

Another of the ‘Mr Toad’ cast, Billie Pflug is back on stage in a role as Benny Southstreet, a role at the opposite end of the spectrum to the cautious, sensible Badger she played last year.

And Yelita Ali is also taking on a male persona as Nicely Nicely Johnson, with the bonus of singing one of ‘Guys & Dolls’ most recogniseable numbers ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat’.

Like all directors Nolan wishes he had more time to fine tune the show but is confident his young charges will deliver the goods.

“We chose the show based on the pupils we had,” he explained. “We’ve got some very talented drama students and I wanted them to do something different and spread their wings a bit.

“It might be a show normally performed by adults but there’s a lot of fun to be had in ‘Guys and Dolls’ so it’s a great one for our cast.

“It’s got some terrific parts and some fantastic musical numbers.”

Other songs in the ‘Guys and Dolls’ repertoire include the famous ‘Luck Be A Lady’, ‘Fugue for Tinhorns’ and ‘Marry The Man Today’. The show will enjoy a two night run tomorrow and Saturday at 7.30pm.