Weymouth Pavilion

THIS musical show from the 50s is often remembered for its film starring Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons so it is good to see it performed in its original stage version by Weymouth Operatic Society who have pulled out all the stops for the occasion.

Originally based on the stories of Damon Runyon, the plot is full of New York gangsters, their molls, dodgy deals and big-time betting on dice.

A large cast of mainly men is headed by Tom Howden who plays professional gambler Sky Masterson where amid the bustle of city life he falls for mission doll Sarah Brown, played by Laura Brown, both of them delivering nicely judged and sincere performances.

With Ralph Ricardo and Stella Brading as the over-the-top comedy couple keeping the pace rolling along, the show includes songs like Luck be a Lady, If I Were a Bell and Bushel and a Peck, all performed with enthusiasm and sunny smiles.

Also upping the betting stakes in their roles as part of the gangster mob are Matt Broad and Paul Beecroft while Dave Clinch is the big boy and Jason Hodder is the crafty cop with Meryl Hodder and Peter Lindsey as mission workers, all of whom do a fine job in a storyline that never relaxes for a second.

Martine Burt is in top form as director and choreographer of a production that presents plenty of challenges for everyone involved as they successfully tackle those New York accents and the occasionally bewildering Runyon-esque dialogue.

Of special note is the particularly fine performance of the 13-piece band led by Lee Redwood which makes a significant addition to the quality of the production.

Numerous scene changes ranging from a city street to a sewer and a Cuban nightclub to a mission hall are carried out with skill by the backstage crew who deserve a special mention for their efforts in this enjoyable production.

There are two further performances tomorrow, a matinee and evening performance.