Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Thursday, 2 June 2005 10:32 UK

Press views: Guys And Dolls

Actor Ewan McGregor's West End musical debut in a revival of 1950s show Guys And Dolls has been given a mixed reception by UK theatre critics.

McGregor plays the part of gambler Sky Masterson, marking his return to the theatre after a break of six years.

The musical, which is considered a Broadway classic, features well-known numbers including Luck Be A Lady.


The show's failure is its biggest star. Ewan McGregor's Sky Masterson proves to be the hole at its heart.

Stars of Moulin Rouge
Eawn McGregor stars alongside Jenna Russell in the show

McGregor's performance is as eerily blank and sexless as his Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. His tight, strained voice never really lets rip on Loesser's soaring numbers like My Time Of Day and Luck Be A Lady.

There are too many occasions in this production when the earth fails to move.


As Sky Masterson, Ewan McGregor makes up in easy charm and seductive glamour what he lacks in vocal skills.

But he sounds a lot better than Marlon Brando in the movie and lets rip with a perfectly place final high note in Luck Be A Lady.

It's an evening rich in show-stoppers. This production looks to be a sure-fire winner.


The stars of Guys And Dolls
Ewan McGregor's singing voice was criticised by some reviewers

As played by Ewan McGregor, Sky Masterson is dapper and cool.

But deep down, he is a decent, religious guy who knows his proverbs from his Isiah.

If only McGregor's singing voice matched his acting and his dancing, it would be a first-rate performance.

But, as I always say, musicals are about ecstasy.

And there are two moments when this show really hits the button.


What surprised me (about Ewan McGregor) was his ability not just to talk his songs, but to sing them, and sing them smoothly and tunefully.

A visit to the Piccadilly Theatre will bring you terrific music, great fun, one or two excellent dance numbers, and, at the head of a consistently decent cast, no less charismatic a figure than Ewan McGregor.


Moulin Rouge
McGregor starred in big screen musical Moulin Rouge
It's suddenly vintage summer show time in the West End.

This lovely show may not be the most innovative of stagings. It feels as though they've scrimped on some of the sets.

Then there's the voice - or lack of it - from the leading star, Ewan McGregor. A new larynx for the movie man, please.

Never mind, Guys And Dolls is such a lifter, that by the end of the show it wouldn't have mattered if McGregor's part had been sung by Darth Vader or R2D2.

Despite McGregor's big name, this musical is made by the two female leads, Douglas Hodges' genial loser and by the energy of the company.

McGregor in stage musical debut
02 Jun 05 |  Entertainment
McGregor daunted by dancing role
13 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
McGregor to star in Guys revival
08 Nov 04 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific