Guys & Dolls: A Thrilling Immersive Show

cast of guys & dolls at the bridge theatre photo by manuel harlan

Removing all seats in the stalls to create an open, standing area was a genius idea.

This immersive production of Guys and Dolls has been a huge success ever since it opened almost a year ago, and it’s extended its run until August 2024, with a new cast starting later this month. And it’s easy to see why: this innovative production is bold, energetic, and joyous.

cast of guys & dolls at the bridge theatre photo by manuel harlan

We’re in the standing area, transformed into a New York street, where a pre-show hotdog stand is making a strong trade, surrounded by neon signage, traffic lights, and cafe tables. As the show begins, stagehands (some of them dressed as NY police) usher us gently into position as the stage rises from the floor, and throughout the action, there’s a lot of reconfiguring, platforms rising and falling. Sometimes, we’re right at the front, experiencing the action in a thrillingly intimate way, swept up in the movement and energy. Clearly, the people in the traditional seats are missing out.

42. cast of guys & dolls at the bridge theatre, photo by manuel harlan

It’s an old story that takes in gangsters and their girlfriends, sinners and saviors, gambling and marriage, with many catchy tunes and witty lyrics. Nathan Detroit (Daniel Mays) has been engaged to feisty Miss Adelaide (Marisha Wallace) for many years, and she believes (wrongly) that he has given up gambling. Wallace inhabits the part with a huge supply of charisma, great comic timing, and a wonderful voice perfect for lyrics such as “In other words, just from worrying if the wedding is on or off… A person can develop a cough”.

g&d 053. cast of guys & dolls, photo by manuel harlan (1)

Meanwhile, Sky Masterson (George Ioannides) has fallen for Sarah Brown.

(Celinde Schoenmaker) From the Salvation Army mission and pretending to want to reform his ways, ending up taking her to Havana for a night of Bacardi and dancing in one of the play’s best scenes. Excellent choreography, costumes, lighting, and clever shifting stages create a whirlwind of movement and energy. As a finale, the stage sinks to the floor, and we’re all suddenly inhabiting the same space: smiling actors invite the audience in, and the whole space becomes a dancefloor. It’s a riotous show with a big focus on fun.


Booking until August 2024

The Bridge Theatre, The Bridge Theatre

3 Potters Fields Park, SE1 2SG; 0333 320 0051


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