Tag Archives: Tori Scott



Bridge Theatre

GUYS & DOLLS at the Bridge Theatre


“a captivating, energetic show that you’d bet on to run and run.”

The Bridge Theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls opened a year ago to rave reviews and now a new cast continues the party. This show really does feel like a knees up: my cheeks were aching by the interval and even I was persuaded to join in with a celebratory wiggle during the finale. Even if you have never seen this 1950 musical before, the immersive experience draws you into a world of gamblers, showgirls and fervent missionaries, and you will leave humming the excellent songs.

Part of what draws the audience in is the Bridge Theatre set (Bunny Christie), which includes seating on four sides of an immersive area which you can roam around with a standing ticket. Before the start of the show, the central area is laid out like a street map, vendors sell real hot dogs and pretzels from stands to the audience, and the ensemble circulate puffing on stage cigarettes. Bright neon and coloured bulbs (lighting design Paule Constable) decorate hanging signs that transport you to a busy Broadway, New York with the attention to detail on the road markings and sewer covers apparent up close. The immersive audience is encouraged to sit at diner tables and interact with the ensemble as the bustle increases. Given the geography of the room, the orchestra is not in a pit: it is elevated to the gallery, and flanked with more of the garish bulbs which shows off the pink glittery music stands and snazzy audience jackets. This is a show that’s not afraid to show how it operates, but that only adds to the magic.



And what magic. Especially when standing, the action is happening literally centimetres away. The acting therefore must be – and is – flawless. Emotions have to be portrayed both small and large for the audiences closer and those further away. Dancing (Arlene Phillips with James Cousins) from the talented supporting actors is super sharp. I loved the rowdy carrot routine from the showgirls in the Hot Box club. The gamblers in the crap game routines are totally committed even on narrow stage blocks, and the hat-ography is impressive.

Guys and Dolls is known for being the epitome of the comic musical, and the jokes here are mined expertly by the able cast. There is great physicality throughout from all characters, especially the anchor of the piece, Owain Arthur as Nathan Detroit. Timmika Ramsay also has perfect comic timing as Miss Adelaide, the aspiring wife and showgirl, intent on reforming her fiance. Ramsay is wonderful in the role; her voice is powerful and rich, even when singing sitting down, and with a cold!

“This refreshed cast does their material justice, and then some”

As a foil to this couple, Celinde Schoenmaker is excellent as the uptight Sarah, leader of the Mission for Lost Souls. She has an incredibly easy high register, and is able to inject character into her songs as well as excellent vocals. Watching her lose all abandon in Havana is a sight to behold – very reminiscent of having one too many drinks at a wedding. George Ioannides completes the quad at the centre of the story, again excellent vocally. He embodies the smoothness of a professional gambler, but with enough heart that his love story makes sense.

The supporting cast were also excellent, especially Jonathan Andrew Hume as Nicely Nicely Johnson. He leads the rollicking number Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat which is the biggest song and rightly gets multiple reprises.



As in previous immersive shows at the Bridge, blocks rise and fall through different scenes and all these potential hazards are well shepherded by stage hands dressed as cops. They get a well-deserved ovation for calmly co-ordinating the standing audience through the piece, as well as managing props and creating runways to the stage blocks for actors. Even watching the stage hands’ work up close doesn’t break the focus: it’s not often that you get to feel like you’re standing in the wings.

Nicholas Hytner’s strong direction combined with the amazing set and choreography bring out the very best of Damon Runyon’s characters and Frank Loesser’s much-loved music and lyrics. This refreshed cast does their material justice, and then some. In fact, Guys and Dolls could only be improved by serving up every audience member a mid-show dulce de leche, but in every other way, this is a captivating, energetic show that you’d bet on to run and run.

GUYS & DOLLS at the Bridge Theatre

Reviewed on 11th March 2024

by Rosie Thomas

Photography by Manuel Harlan





More five-star reviews:

LUCY AND FRIENDS | ★★★★★ | Soho Theatre | February 2024
STANDING AT THE SKY’S EDGE | ★★★★★ | Gillian Lynne Theatre | February 2024
THE BIG LIFE | ★★★★★ | Theatre Royal Stratford East | February 2024
HADESTOWN | ★★★★★ | Lyric Theatre | February 2024
NELKEN | ★★★★★ | Sadler’s Wells Theatre | February 2024
WHEN YOU PASS OVER MY TOMB | ★★★★★ | Arcola Theatre | February 2024
HILLS OF CALIFORNIA | ★★★★★ | Harold Pinter Theatre | February 2024
SELF-RAISING | ★★★★★ | Soho Theatre | February 2024
JEFFREY BERNARD IS UNWELL | ★★★★★ | The Coach & Horses | February 2024
COWBOIS | ★★★★★ | Royal Court Theatre | January 2024



Click here to see our Recommended Shows page


Tori Scott

Tori Scott: Tori with an “I”


Crazy Coqs

TORI SCOTT: TORI WITH AN “I”  at the Crazy Coqs


Tori Scott

“She clearly loves the material, which she delivers with a belt!”


Tori Scott made the move to London from New York City about a year ago – arriving here with three bags and one cat (with a touch of dramatic license thrown in no doubt). Since then, she has swiftly and firmly established a growing popularity this side of the pond. Her two-night stint at Crazy Coqs shows us why. Her lively, breathless whirlwind of a ninety-minute set leaves us wanting more, if not a little glad we can catch our own breath by the time she dances out, mid-song, through the venue’s double-doors.

She loves the venue, she claims. “It tricks me into thinking I can afford the drinks”. She loves her new home here too, despite the cost-of-living crisis; “It’s too expensive to stay alive”. The title of her show – “Tori with an I” stems from her discovering how hard it is to live in the UK with a name like Tori. This theme (one of casting an outsider’s eye on the many eccentricities of British life, culture, politics and personality) informs the banter that occupies the gaps between songs. Between verse and chorus even. Such is her gift of the gab she can slot a hilarious anecdote into the short sixteen bars of an instrumental break.

Scott is an actress, singer and comedian and all three attributes are in full swing as she sways through a set list takes in the likes of Elton John, Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper, Florence Welch, Madonna, Bowie, the Eurythmics, Divinyls, Bewitched… among others. It is a musical journey in which, unlike many shows of this genre, the choice of musical numbers is seemingly appropriate to the surrounding banter. Or at least Scott makes it feel that way. Maybe she’s just winging it – you can never tell with Tori. She shamelessly makes fun of our culture, but does so with immense affection. And self-deprecation. She makes fun of herself and, very occasionally, the artist she is covering. It is done with love. She clearly loves the material, which she delivers with a belt! (to say the least). Her voice soars, but sometimes it is like there is a slow puncture somewhere and she needs to reach the end of the song before the air starts to escape.

Musical director and pianist, Ben Papworth, has his work cut out keeping up – but he does so with consummate ease despite barely controlling his laughter from Scott’s barrage of gags. Midway through the evening Scott invites Christina Bianco onto the stage. Unlike the rest of the evening the pre-song banter had a slightly rehearsed feel about it before they launched into a duet, mashing up Judy Garland’s ‘Get Happy’ and Barbara Streisand’s ‘Happy Days are Here Again’ into a gorgeously clever countermelody.

Currently on tour (“no tour bus – just a rail replacement bus”) with ‘The Cher Show’ it is testament to her stamina and supreme vocal technique that she can fly by Crazy Coqs to deliver such an impassioned set. But you feel that she wouldn’t miss it for the world. Scott is her own, self-contained ‘joie de vivre”, which the audience cannot avoid soaking up, just as we love being the butt of her jokes. “Thank you for letting me complain to you all night” she quips by way closing the show – with a singalong. A show that opened with Queen’s ‘Don’t stop me now’. Well – we wouldn’t be able to stop her. Even if we wanted to. Which we, quite emphatically, don’t.


Reviewed on 5th February 2023

by Jonathan Evans


Previously reviewed at this venue:


Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan | ★★★★ | October 2022


Click here to read all our latest reviews