All-black Guys and Dolls at Royal Exchange

Sheila Connor

Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company's co-production of Guys and Dolls, directed by Michael Buffong, transplants the show to 1939 Harlem for the UK's first all-black production of this classic musical from 2 December 2017 t0 27 January 2018.

Ray Fearon plays Nathan Detroit, leading a cast that also includes Koko Basigara, Toyan Thomas-Browne, Nathanael Campbell, Darren Charles, Ewen Cummins, Chelsey Emery, Evonnee Bentley-Holder, Kurt Kansley, Danielle Kassaraté, Fela Lufadeju, Melanie Marshall, Ako Mitchell, Javar Parker, Joe Speare, Jaime Tait, Trevor A Toussaint and T'shan Williams. Choreography is by hip-hop dancer and choreographer Kenrick 'H20' Sandy.

Buffong said, "pre-war Harlem was all about the hustle. The creativity of that era was born from a unique collision of talent and circumstance as people escaped the agricultural and oppressive South via the 'underground railroad' into the highly urbanised and industrialised North.

"Much of our popular culture, from dance to music, has its roots in that period. Our Guys and Dolls brings all of this to the fore, in superb, celebratory style."