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Five will get you ten reasons to audition for Guys & Dolls

GMT will very shortly be holding open auditions for our latest production of Guys & Dolls. This show is a big, brassy, broadway classic – so of course, we’re doing things differently by staging it in a small black box theatre in central Glasgow! We’re looking for guys and dolls of all ages to come along and be part of a production that will hopefully be a bit unique compared to other productions you’ve seen.

So why come and audition? Well, apart from the aforementioned uniqueness, this show is packed with smart patter and gorgeous songs, as well as a variety of quirky characters. As with all GMT productions, we like to keep our company busy, and as a small show means a tight-knit cast, you can bet your bottom dollar that even in the ensemble, you’ll have plenty to do! Director Nicola Coffield shares even more reasons to come along and take a stroll down Runyon’s Broadway…

1. It’s a show for GUYS

Nathan, Nicely, Benny, Sky, Rusty Charlie, Arvide, Lt. Brannigan… and the list of great male characters goes on! For once GMT is producing a show where we can actually show off all of the talented men that we know – once you’ve signed up to audition of course!

2. It’s a show for DOLLS

What the principal female roles lack in number, they make up for in punch. Miss Adelaide and Sergeant Sarah Brown are both iconic roles that pretty much any gal with a passing interest in musicals has fancied a crack at! But apart from Adelaide and Sarah, there will also be Hot Box dolls, missionaries, and gamblers’ molls – or even some hard-nosed lady gamblers - to keep the female ensemble busy.

3. It’s a show for a cast of all ages

One of the unique things about Guys & Dolls is that all not all of the lead characters are love-struck twenty-somethings. Nathan and Miss Adelaide have been engaged for 14 years after all, so the characters have been around the block a couple of times. Which is a semi-polite way of saying that auditionees that have also been around the block a few times are more than welcome!

4. We’re going to do Guys & Dolls with ‘a twist’

Don’t worry, we’re not setting the show in some post-apocalyptic dystopia, or doing “Guys & Dolls in Space”. But because the Brian Cox Studio Theatre is, well, a studio, this means our show will feature little to no set, as well as a skillfully reduced musical accompaniment. And as the show is based on Damon Runyon’s stories of shady gangsters, gamblers and small-time criminals, our production is going to be a bit more rough around the edges than some of the more showbizzy versions you may have seen. More prohibition-era, less Busby Berkeley (ask your grandparents – or Google). When people ask me what I mean by rough around the edges, I often cite a moment from the film version of Chicago, when one of the dancers does the entirety of ‘All I Care About…’ with a ciggie hanging out of her mouth.

Richard Gere and friends in 'Chicago'

Image: Richard Gere and friends in the movie version of 'Chicago'

This woman, right here. Yep, that’s pretty much my artistic vision for the whole show!

5. It’s a show that’s got jokes!

The winning combination of Damon Runyon’s characters, and Jo Swerling and Abe Burrow’s book makes Guys & Dolls a show packed with more winning lines than Mindy sells strudel. Or cheesecake.

6. It’s a show that’s got songs!

And what songs. Guys & Dolls is one of my favourite shows because of the way Frank Loesser’s music and lyrics so ably tell the story. ‘Luck Be A Lady’ is rightly a classic, but take the time to listen to the lyrics to really appreciate Loesser’s wit and wordplay.

7. It’s another excuse for GMT to get retro-tastic

Although written in the 1950s, Guys & Dolls is based on Damon Runyon’s short stories of 1920s/30s New York. That means sharp-shooting suits for the guys, and some 20s-30s chic for the dolls – flapper dresses would not be amiss. And if you’ve been in one of GMT’s previous vintage productions (for example, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying or On The Town), then what better excuse to dust off your finest retro threads? What do you mean you cleared out your wardrobe?

8. There might be a big bass drum.

I can’t make any promises. But there might!

9. Because everyone loves Guys & Dolls

It’s a show beloved of performers and audiences a like. I’ve already been in two productions, and now I’m directing a third. It’s the show that keeps giving you reasons to come back for more. And if you need more convincing, here's a clip featuring one of my favourite Nathans doing one of my favourite numbers (with a bonus appearance from J.K 'Just Keep' Simmons):

10. Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat

I should have just put this show-stopping number as reasons 1 to 10; no further justification for this show is required. Lusty singing? Check. Chair-ography? Check. Tambourine? Check. Well, unless the Musical Director requests a stewards’ inquiry on that one…

There’s still time to sign up for our open auditions from 17 – 19 February 2017. Simply email to request an audition pack and sign up for an audition slot.

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