Merchiston Castle School and St George's School for Girls have collaborated to bring the classic stage and screen musical Guys and Dolls to Edinburgh. The story rotates around a band of petty criminals in New York. Nathan Detroit is the organiser of the local (illegal) floating crap game, although he is constantly harassed by his long-time fiancée Adelaide to go straight. Nathan draws gambler Sky Masterson into a sucker bet in which Sky must take the local Mission Sergeant Sarah Brown to Cuba. Predictably, Sky falls for Sarah in the midst of this wager being followed through, and the rest, as they say, is musical history.
The main characters, Ben Talbot as Masterson, Richard Muchle as Detroit, Jacqui Sutherland as Sarah Brown and Stephanie Noble as Adelaide all turn in performances better than expected from a student group. In fact, Stephanie Noble would appear to be inspired casting for the role. Where the group are let down is unrehearsed background action. Not only is it occasionally distracting, it also was at times contradictory to the foreground action. It could also do with being a bit tighter. At 1 hour 45 minutes, this is by Fringe terms an epic journey, and to be honest trimming 30 minutes out of the production would have done wonders for the pace.
It's not all bad though. The famous take-away hit 'Luck Be A Lady' was performed with style and harmonic panache. 'Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat' was a joy to watch and Stephanie Noble's voice was almost made for 'Adelaide's Lament' (A person, could develop a cold).