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 in October.
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 – and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “We’re delighted to announce the stellar cast for this very special, limited run of Guys and Dolls: Live in Concert – presented by the Hall and Fiery Angel Entertainment – with the perfect musical-comedy brought to life by some of the finest talent in musical theatre.”
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. He 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). This unmissably feel-good show is presented by the Hall and Fiery Angel Entertainment, with musical direction from James McKeon and design by Morgan Large.
Stephen Mear won Olivier Awards for his choreography of Mary Poppins (with Matthew Bourne) and Hello, Dolly!, and has been celebrated for his work on West End shows Singin’ in the Rain, Sweet Charity and the acclaimed revival of Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton.
James McKeon’s credits include last year’s UK tour of Miss Saigon, Evita at the Adelphi Theatre, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. He was also the organist at the famous 25th anniversary Phantom of the Opera concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
The work of acclaimed designer Morgan Large has recently been seen in Ruthless at the Arts Theatre, and Death Takes a Holiday at the Charing Cross Theatre. His previous credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Novello Theatre), Othello (Sheffield Crucible) and Room on the Broom (worldwide). 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.