An ear full of cider...

I'm on stage next week as Sky Masterson in SIMADs production of Guys & Dolls. Tuesday 29th to Thursday 31st May at 7.30pm. It was the 5th longest running broadway musical of the 1950s with 1,200 performances, and won the Tony Award for best musical in 1952.

Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando starred in the original 1955 film version. I've found it interesting to company the differences between film and stages versions while rehearsing. Much of the dialogue is changed, sometime for better sometimes for worse, but sometimes puzzlingly for no apparent reason. Also there are extra song's to give Frank Sinatra more to sing - his character Nathan Detroit having fewer songs in the stage version. Ironically Brando, not the strongest singer, got the best songs.

The show is full of great music. Most Rogers and Hammerstein musicals feature loads of repetition of the songs - I was struck by this recently when I saw Pied Pipers excellent production at the ADC in Cambridge last month. In contrast Guys & Dolls has enough original music for two of their shows - or five Lloyd Webber? Apparently the composer Frank Loesser did suggest reprises of the songs in act two and George Kaufman the director retorted if you reprise the songs we'll reprise the jokes.

Cider in your ear is a reference to Sky's story to Nathan of the outcome of losing an ill conceived bet.

Own Goal

I once advised on the Management Buyout of a large distribution business.  During a conversation about funding the MD explained that - although I was concerned about the amount of cash tied up in stock - it was worse to be out of stock and miss a sale than to be over stocked.  Accordingly we had to ensure that the buyout funding included enough cash to allow the business to trade appropriately and take opportunities for profit when they arose.

Last month I was reminded of this when I was unable to buy something.  I attended the Pantomime on my son's birthday at a local theatre.. The theatre will remain nameless, but it was founded by an economist in the first half of the 20th Century.  This was on 29th December, a full house.....and they had sold out of programmes!  I had instead to read the theatre's program for the next season, which opened with a triumphant piece by its Chief Executive about how commercially successful the theatre had become!  Just bring a newspaper next time if you want something to read at the interval.