Guys & Dolls: casting has been announced for Nicholas Hytner’s new production at the Bridge Theatre

 (Guys & Dolls artwork, handout / Janine Shalom)
(Guys & Dolls artwork, handout / Janine Shalom)

The cast for Nicholas Hytner’s new immersive reimagining of Guys and Dolls has been announced – and the news has been trending online.

It makes sense – not only is Hytner, the former director of the National Theatre, directing, but the Olivier-nominated, ex-Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips is set to choreograph the show.

Line of Duty’s Daniel Mays is set to star as Nathan Detroit (played in the 1955 film adaptation by Frank Sinatra); Andrew Richardson will play the Marlon Brando role of gambler Sky Masterson and Celinde Schoenmaker will be his love interest, Salvation Army Sergeant Sarah Brown. Fast-rising musical theatre star Marisha Wallace will be Miss Adelaide and Cedric Neal will play Nicely-Nicely Johnson – setting Guys & Dolls up to have a truly exciting run.

The production is set to come to The Bridge Theatre in London in March 2023.

As well as Line of Duty, Mays is best known for his roles in 1917, Fisherman’s Friends, Temple and Porters, while audiences may know Richardson for 2019’s film A Call To Spy – this will be his professional theatre debut.

Daniel Mays (Will Thompson)
Daniel Mays (Will Thompson)

Dutch actor Schoenmaker has previously played Fantine in the West End production of Les Misérables in 2014, Christine Daaé in the 2015 West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, and she played Renate Blauel in the 2019 Elton John biopic, Rocketman.

The Voice’s 2019 semi-finalist Cedric Neal has had roles in Chess at the London Coliseum, The View Upstairs at the Soho Theatre, as well as Motown: The Musical.

The cast also includes Cornelius Clarke (The Beaux’ Stratagem), Cameron Johnson (Star Light), Anthony O’Donnell (Skyfall), writer and actor Mark Oxtoby (Death of England: Face to Face), Adam Pearce (Sweeney Todd), Ryan Pidgen (The Wind In The Willow: The New Musical) and Katy Secombe (Les Misérables: The Staged Concert).

The set will be created by award-winning designer Bunny Christie, who most recently won an Olivier award for her design of Marianne Elliott’s production of Company at the Gielgud Theatre. Dame Arlene Phillips’ previous theatre work includes Grease, Saturday Night Fever, A Clockwork Orange and The Sound of Music.

Costumes will be made by Deborah Andrews, alongside Bunny Christie, and there will be associate direction from choreographer James Cousins. Lighting will be by Paule Constable, who has won five Olivier Awards for lighting.

For those who are new to Guys & Dolls, the musical premiered on Broadway in 1950, where it ran for 1,200 performances. It won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and picked up a Tony Award before being made into a film in 1955, which was an instant classic – including Brando and Sinatra, the star-studded cast featured Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine.

The story follows Nathan Detroit, who runs a weekly illegal crap game in New York and desperately needs money, bets inveterate gambler Sky Masterson that Sky can persuade the pious Sarah Brown to let him take her out on a date.

Hytner has won six awards for his work, as well as being knighted in 2010 for his services to drama.

Guys & Dolls will run at the Bridge Theatre from March 3 to September 2, 2023;