Ready to roll your dice for Guys & Dolls at Royal Albert Hall? Stephen Mear's stellar casting includes Adrian Lester

22 Aug
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Press Releases

How many years has it been since Adrian Lester did a musical? How many other stellar #StageFaves can director-choreographer Stephen Mear pack into his mega concert staging of Broadway classic GUYS & DOLLS at London's Royal Albert Hall in October?

Adrian Lester, Jason Manford and Meow Meow will star in the Royal Albert Hall’s production of Guys and Dolls, which comes to the iconic London venue for three performances only on 19 and 20 October 2018

This semi-staged version of the classic musical comedy, to be directed and choreographed by Stephen Mear, will also feature Joe Stilgoe, Clive Rowe – reprising his Olivier Award-winning role as Nicely Nicely Johnson – and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

This sizzling, New York tale of gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers – plus one missionary – features some of Broadway’s greatest show-stoppers, including ‘Luck Be a Lady’, ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat’ and‘My Time of Day’.

Adrian Lester, who stars as Sky Masterson, is best known for the BBC’s Hustle and his performance as Othello at the National Theatre in 2013, which won him Best Actor at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. His musical theatre credits include Sweeney Todd (also at the National) and his Olivier-winning performance in Sam Mendes’ production of Company at the Donmar Warehouse and in the West End.

Lester said:

“It’s been a few years since I’ve been on stage and quite a few more since I’ve been in a musical, but singing at the Royal Albert Hall, backed by the Royal Philharmonic, is an opportunity too good to miss. I’m really looking forward to singing Sky Masterson as part of a great company.”

Jason Manford made his name as one of the UK’s leading stand-ups, before embarking on a theatrical career. A stage debut in Sweeney Todd, opposite Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, led to a starring role in The Producers and a year-long run in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He hosted the Olivier Awards at the Hall last year, and returns to the venue’s stage in the role of Nathan Detroit.

Miss Adelaide will be played by international cabaret star Meow Meow – who initiated the role of the Maîtresse in the Gielgud Theatre adaptation of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg – while the supporting cast is headed by acclaimed jazz singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe as Benny Southstreet, and Clive Rowe reprising the role of Nicely Nicely Johnson for which he won an Olivier in 1997. Rowe’s other West End credits include The Ladykillers (Gielgud Theatre) and Kiss Me, Kate (The Old Vic).

Though songs from the show have been performed at the Hall by artists including Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis, Jr., this is the first time Guys and Dolls has ever been presented in its entirety at the venue.