Rachel Kavanaugh directs a new production of Damon Runyon s classic Broadway musical fable at Sheffield s Crucible Theatre over Christmas. Guys and Dolls opens on 12 December 2000, following previews from 8 December, and continues to 20 January 2001.

Kavanaugh is an associate director of Yasmina Reza s Art in the West End, New York and Sydney, and directed the hit comedy on its major UK-wide tour earlier this year. She is also well-known to London audiences for her summer Shakespeare productions at the Regent s Park Open Air Theatre, including Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night s Dream. Her other recent credits include A Small Family Business (Chichester Festival) and A View from the Bridge (Greenwich).

Guys and Dolls, the 1950 musical based on Runyon s short stories about New York low-life, centres around a group of small-time gamblers and their long-suffering girlfriends. Nathan Detroit (Ian Bartholomew), under marital pressure from his girlfriend Miss Adelaide (Tracie Bennett), needs $1,000 to enter a crap game and, to raise the cash, bets his friend Sky Masterson (Harry Burton) that he can t woo the prim neighbourhood missionary, Sarah Brown (Claire Carrie).

Bartholomew s recent credits include King Lear (Royal Exchange), Twelfth Night (Sheffield Crucible), The Iceman Cometh (Almeida/Old Vic) and Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse).

Bennett is best known for her role as Sharon Gaskell in TV s Coronation Street while, on stage, she has appeared in Bedevilled and She Loves Me. Burton s credits include Troilus and Cressida and Twelfth Night (Open Air) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (Bridewell). Carrie s credits include A Small Family Business (Chichester), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Open Air) and By Jeeves (Lyric).

They are joined in the cast by Martin Callaghan (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Neal Wright, John Stacey, John Conroy, Martin Scott Warden, Colin Farrell, Norman Bowman, Jamie Somers, Audrey Palmer, Peter Gallagher, Robert McWhir, Debbie Kurup, Nina French, Charlotte Gorton and Joanne Redman.

Guys and Dolls has music by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerlin and Abe Burrows. The Sheffield production is designed by Peter McKintosh with lighting design by Christopher Davey, musical direction by Catherine Jayes and choreography by Craig Revel Horwood.