Guys and Dolls: Harvest Rain Theatre

Guys and Dolls, Brisbane Harvest Rain’s first fully professional production, was aptly big budget, brightly costumed and included some big names in the cast.

Ian Stenlake, Wayne Scott Kermond, Daryl Somers, Liz Buchanan and Angela Harding Photo:  Nick Morrissey
Ian Stenlake, Wayne Scott Kermond, Daryl Somers, Liz Buchanan and Angela Harding
Photo: Nick Morrissey

Charming and vocally talented baritone Ian Stenlake (Sky Masterson) has charisma galore but only a few moments in the script allow it to be fully utilised.

Angela Harding as Sarah Brown has a lovely tuneful voice, which unfortunately wasn’t helped by the consistent sound issues in the amplification department .

Casting was spot on, with the delightfully well seasoned theatrical Wayne Scott Kermond giving the best performance of the night as Nathan Detroit.  Similarly Liz Buchanan, as Adelaide, was a gorgeous and delightfully impressive Hot Box girl.

Daryl Somers in his cartoon like padded suit brought some nice tap-dancing talent as Nicely Nicely Johnson and led the cast in the exciting number ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat’.

Dale Pengally was also terrific as Benny Southstreet, singing, dancing and caricaturising up a storm.  He may easily have played any major role in the production.

The chorus members were snappy in ill-fitted coloured costumes, with choreography by George Canham serving the show well.  However a little more fire from the chorus would have added to the impact of this production.

There were many good things about the show – it had talent, heart, and colour – but something seemed to be missing; not for lack of talent or commitment from the team, but perhaps because of a lack of chemistry between the leads.  Overall a certain finesse seemed to be missing from the production itself.

Melbourne’s The Production Company get these short seasons so right and Harvest Rain has a little way to go in learning to maintain the sincerity and depth in these theatre classics over a short run.

Guys and Dolls played in the Concert Hall at QPAC from 20 to 23 March.

Rebecca Grennan

Rebecca 'Bex' Grennan owns and runs a website for creative entrepreneurs (actors, singers, dancers, theatre folk and unconventional creative businesses) focusing on career coaching, social media marketing strategies, and workshops online and offline uncovering all the Industry myths you’ve been blinded by. She has also worked in the entertainment industry for 12 years as a triple threat and voice over artist represented by Mark Byrne Management in Sydney. Performing History Includes: Theatre: Sweet Charity, Mame, The Boyfriend, (Melbourne Production Company), The Boy from Oz-Hugh Jackman, Shout! The Legend of the Wild One, Grease- the Arena Spectacular and Opera Australia, Universal Studios Japan, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines Film: Happy Feet, The Son of the Mask

Rebecca Grennan

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