It’s a classic tale of musical comedy, and a new production of Guys And Dolls will debut in the North West tonight.
The show, co-produced by Poulton’s own up-and-coming impressario Richard Darbourne, sees two loved British stars reunited - for the first time in more than 20 years, after they played star-struck lovers in hit movie Four Weddings And A Funeral.
Sophie Thompson and David Haig are fondly remembered as bride and groom Lydia and Bernard from the classic Brit flick.
And tonight they’ll perform together again for the first time since shooting some of the film’s most iconic scenes back in 1993.
The classic ‘Broadway fable’ opens in Manchester tonight, ahead of a Christmas run at London’s Savoy Theatre.
“We’ve bumped into each other, and have touched base, but have never had a chance to work together since,” David said, as they prepare to play Nathan Detroit and his long-suffering fiancee, club dancer Miss Adelaide.
“It’s lovely to work with Sophie again. You can cut corners as you know each other, and don’t have to stumble towards building a relationship on stage.
“Having done the Four Weddings bedroom scene, with Hugh Grant hidden in the wardrobe, we can be pretty intimate with ease. That’s the nicest thing, you’re relaxed from the start after doing 50 takes of that.”
Guys And Dolls tells the romantic tales of unlikely New York pairings, high-rolling gamble Sky Masterson and missionary girl Sarah Brown, as well as showgirl Miss Adelaide dreaming of a straight-laced life with gambling game arranger Nathan Detroit.
The Guys make a wager on Sky’s ability to secure a date with Miss Brown, while Adelaide struggles to pin down her fiance for their marriage.
The show features some of Frank Loesser’s most memorable tunes, including Adelaide’s Lament, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, and the classics Luck be a Lady and Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat.
“I’m not a musicals expert, but it feels pretty good to watch these incredible dancers, singers and actors from the inside,” David said of the show.
“Guys And Dolls is one of two or three musical classics of all time, and is particularly exciting for me playing Nathan Detroit, with one song and not really any dancing, that it’s one of a few musicals which has a fantastic script, that’s genuinely funny and buoyant.
“Many, many musicals have great songs but not funny dialogue, which is what takes it up to another level.”
* Guys And Dolls, Palace Theatre, Manchester, until Saturday, November 21. Call 0161 245 6600 to book.