Guys and Dolls


2nd December 2017 – 3rd February 2018

A Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production

A musical fable of Broadway based on the story and characters of Damon Runyon

Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser

Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows

Directed by Michael Buffong

Matinee Shows: 2.30pm

Evening Shows: 7.30pm

Run time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Press Night: Wednesday 6 December 2017, 7.30pm 

Captioned Show: Thursday 14 December 2017, 7.30pm

Audio-Described Show: Saturday 16 December 2017, 2.30pm

Relaxed Show: Wednesday 3 January 2018, 2.30pm

BSL Show: Wednesday 24 January 2018, 7.30pm

More information about the Royal Exchange's access facilities - here

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Guys and Dolls is a Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production, performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited


Guys and Dolls: The UK's first all-Black cast

Director Michael Buffong transports the smash-hit musical Guys and Dolls up-town to 1939 Harlem in the UK’s first all-Black cast production of this iconic show. 

Based on Damon Runyon’s off-beat stories, Guys And Dolls is a musical romantic comedy involving the unlikeliest of pairings. Set in a world where a roll of the dice solves even the most awkward disputes, will the gamble pay off where love is involved? 

Guys and Dolls bursts into seductive life with unforgettable songs including LUCK BE A LADY, SIT DOWN YOU'RE ROCKING THE BOAT, and the irresistibly infectious title number - which all come together to create the perfect celebratory night out.

Guys and Dolls is co-produced by the Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company – the UK’s primary Black led touring theatre company. 

Ray Fearon is the charming Nathan Detroit, and leads a talented cast which includes Ashley Zhanghazha, Abiona Omounua and Lucy Vandi.  The re-imagined Guys and Dolls is developed with the award winning hip-hop dancer and choreographer Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy.

Michael Buffong is the Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company. His credits for the Royal Exchange Theatre include the critically acclaimed KING LEAR, ALL MY SONS (with Don Warrington) and A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Other theatre credits include: GOD’S PROPERTY (Talawa Theatre Company, Soho Theatre and the Albany); THE SERPENT’S TOOTH (Talawa Theatre Company and Almeida Theatre); MOON ON A RAINBOW SHAWL (Royal National Theatre).

Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy is Co-Founder & Co-Artistic Director of Boy Blue Entertainment, Associate Artists of the Barbican, and one of the top choreographers and performers in the UK urban, commercial and theatrical scenes. Kenrick’s credits are extensive and include theatre, TV and film, both nationally and internationally.  BBE’s most recent work, BLAK WHYTE GRAY, is nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.

  • The Times

    ★★★★ "This Harlem-set production of the New York musical is terrific from the get-go with huge style and verve."

  • The Observer

    ★★★★ "Relocated to Harlem, this ... classic musical retains a threat of violence under a cartoon-bright exterior"

  • The Guardian

    ★★★★ "Harlem-set version captivates with energy and charm."

  • The Cast 

    Ray Fearon as Nathan Detroit

    Ashley Zhangazha as Sky Masterson

    Abiona Omonua as Sarah Brown

    Lucy Vandi as Miss Adalaide

    Fela Lufadeju as Benny Southwest

    Javar La’Trail Parker as Rusty Charlie

    Trevor A Toussaint as Arvide Abernathy

    Chelsey Emery as Agatha

    Jaime Tait as Calvin

    T’Shan Williams as Martha

    Ewen Cummins as Lieutenant Brannigan

    Kurt Kansley as Harry The Horse

    Darren Charles as Society Max

    Nathanael Campbell as Liverlips Louis

    Toyan Thomas-Browne as Moe

    Evonnee Bentley-Holder as Mimi

    Melanie Marshall as General Matilda B Cartwright

    Ako Mitchell as Nicely Nicely Johnson

    Joe Speare as Big Jule

    Koko Basigara as Allison

    Danielle Kassaraté as Angie The Ox

  • Creative Team

    DIRECTOR Michael Buffong

    DESIGNER Soutra Gilmour


    MUSICAL DIRECTOR Mark Aspinall

    CHOREOGRAPHER Kenrick Sandy


    SOUND DESIGNER Richard Brooker

    ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Nicola Miles-Wildin


    ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Anthony Ekundayo Lennon (as part of the Artistic Director Leadership Programme)

  • Michael Buffong

    “For me, storytelling is as important as the music in this production of Guys and Dolls. The interaction between Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown is very like that between Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and I want to get that across along with the great jazz music, singing and movement which will be such an inseparable part of this show.”

  • Upstaged Manchester

    ★★★★★ " ... a Christmas cracker of a show ... lively and glamorous ... you’ll be left with a spring in your step and a smile on your face long after leaving the theatre."

  • The Reviews Hub

    ★★★★ "Enjoyable and entertaining throughout."

  • Northern Soul

    ★★★★ " ... bursting with such infectious dynamism and style that I defy anyone not to emerge with a great beaming smile on their face and joy in their hearts."

  • Manchester Evening News

    ★★★★ "... get swept up in the magic and glamour of the heartwarming musical"

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