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Everything You Need To Know About The Immersive Experience At Guys & Dolls

By Daz Gale

The new production of Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre in London has been rockin’ the theatre world since it opened earlier this year. Wowing audiences and critics alike, this is one of those rare shows which everybody seems to be in agreement about how special it is.

I reviewed the show back in March and gave it the easiest 5 stars I’ve ever given, so for my long overdue return trip this week I wanted to do something a bit different. One of the things that makes this production so special is its immersive quality. However, with that comes a lot of uncertainty so I wanted to put something together for anyone considering a trip there giving them tips to make the most out of their experience. And don’t just take it from me, I got the cast involved too.

Be advised - There will be a few spoilers for some of the most spectacular moments in the show and overall experience.


One of the most legendary musicals there is. Written by Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows , it was first seen on Broadway in 1950 and in the West End in 1953 with multiple revivals on both sides of the Atlantic in the 70 years since. It features instantly recognisable songs including ‘Luck Be A Lady’ and the showstopping ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin' The Boat’.


The rulebook when it comes to this show has been well and truly ripped up. Breaking the boundaries between audience and cast, allowing you to feel part of the action, they transform the Bridge Theatre completely, making you feel you are in New York and even Havana.

Where some shows like to tag the word “immersive” on to anything for the most tenuous shows when the most immersive thing you’ll get is a cast member saying hello to an audience member from the stage, Guys & Dolls is as immersive as it gets. Prepare to be part of the action.

It also boasts the most ridiculously talented cast who won’t fail to blow your away with their phenomenal performances including Marisha Wallace, Cedric Neal, Andrew Richardson, Celinde Schoenmaker and Owain Arthur. I asked them why they think this production is so special and what their favourite moment in the show is. Watch below:


That completely depends on your preference. The show will be completely enjoyable from anywhere with seats on all four sides of the action and great accessibility at the theatre with lift access to all levels bar Gallery 2.

However, if you are able to do the immersive standing experience, I would highly recommend it as it provides something extra to an already special show.

When doing this, bear in mind you will be standing for close to 3 hours with nowhere to sit down during the show. That said, the capacity for standing patrons is fairly generous, meaning there is plenty of room to move around and enough space so you don’t feel crushed in like sardines at certain standing concerts.


The show starts at 7.30pm, finishes at 10.20pm and has an interval.

HOWEVER that does not mean you should get there at that time and leave at that time.


The theatre will open at around 7pm. My recommendation is to get inside as soon as they open to take everything in. There is pre-show activity involving ushers in character with food stands, drinks and merchandise available to buy to truly immerse you into the experience. There is also a lot going on in terms of sights and sounds so drink it in!

When you get in, you will see a few tables and chairs laid out at Mindy’s restaurant. Feel free to take a seat, just try not to move the props on the table as this is very meticulously done. You’re able to sit there until just before the show starts when the ushers will politely ask you to free up the seats for the cast.


It ain’t over til it’s over. Guys & Dolls features quite possibly the best curtain call of any show. Ever wanted to party with the cast? This is that show! As the cast take their bows, the stage comes down and you are invited to mingle with them, dance and be merry! Everyone is welcome – so get practicing your best shapes as there will be an opportunity to take centre stage while everybody cheers for you.


You may want to dress up for the occasion, perhaps wearing something that makes you feel even more immersive, However, be advised you will be standing for 3 hours so you may also want to choose comfort – particularly when it comes to the shoes department. Heels may look stunning but you may be regretting your life choices an hour into the show.

No bags are allowed in the standing area so will need to be checked in to the free cloakroom before you go in. When doing this, absolutely leave your coat there too as it can get pretty hot in Havana and you most definitely won’t be needing one!


This is one interval you’re not going to want to miss! If you need to go to the toilet or get a drink, do this straight away when act one finishes and try to be back in the theatre after 5 minutes as there is a whole lot of pre-show activity including performances from cast members such as Cedric Neal as Adelaide’s Hot Box comes to life. This segues seamlessly into act 2 which begins naturally from the mid-show entertainment.

One huge tip I have is to look out for the tables and chairs that are brought out at the beginning of the interval. Apart from the one reserved table for a cast member, these are all fair game so stake out your spot at one of the four corners of the stage ready to grab a table when the ushers say you are free to do so (though if there is already a queue of people waiting ahead of you, please be respectful of everybody else). At these tables, you will be able to mingle with some of the cast, get a great view for the interval show and even order a dulce de leche. As well as this, when act 2 begins, you will become part of the show as these tables form part of the set for the Hot Box so prepare to watch Marisha Wallace open act 2 in style from the best seats in the house.

After this number, the stage is lowered again and you will join your fellow standing audience for the rest of the show.


This is a tough one, but try not to overthink it too much. You are free to move around throughout the show and are encouraged to do so. There is no chance of staying in the same spot the whole way through the show as the incredible team of ushers move the audience back and forth consistently as various parts of the stage come up and down, transforming the space completely.

Sometimes, you will be gathered on either side of the smallest platform. Sometimes, you will be surrounding a bigger space. The ushers will move you calmly and in character, never taking you out of the escapism (other immersive shows, take note) and will make sure everybody is safe and doesn’t end up in the middle of the stage with the cast unexpectedly (for which we should all be thankful).

There will be moments you may miss something due to a rogue prop being in your face but these moments pass fairly speedily and of course you are always free to move elsewhere if you feel restricted.

There are four sides to the stage with the orchestra in the seats on one of these. My best advice would be to avoid standing directly opposite the band, particularly in act 2 or you will miss the majority of the most showstopping number in the show. Instead, it would be much better to stand on the same side as the orchestra – or better yet, on the other two sides (if we are saying the orchestra are located South, stand East or West)

Whether it is best to stand right at the front or at the back is completely up to you. Both times I have been I have stood in the front row and absolutely loved it (though be warned – you may get wet) whereas others have said standing at the back gives you a much better overview. You will know what works best for you when you get there so trust your instincts and rest assured you are bound to have the time of your life no matter where you stand.

My biggest tip is to make the most of your experience. Get involved, have fun, don’t be afraid of a cast member who may talk to you or hand you a prop mid-show and lose yourself in the complete fun of it!


I asked Cedric, Marisha, Celinde, Andrew and Owain what their best advice would be for anyone looking to do the immersive experience. Here is what they had to say:


I threw it out there on Twitter/X/Whatever it’s called to see what tips people who had been to the show would have for everyone else and got some great responses. Here are some of them:

Sammi McSporran: "Comfy shoes, move on the spot don't just stand still for the whole time or your hips will hate you. Pay attention to the stage crew and move when you're told to. Sometimes you get a better view by being at the back of the crowd than squashed close to the front."

Collett Dawson: "Be quick on your feet. Keep an eye on the hard-working stage crew - that'll give you a heads up where the next bit of action is going to be, so that you're right up front as they move the audience and stage pieces around."

Helena: "Wear comfy shoes and also try to wear something with pockets if you want to take your phone etc with you as you're meant to put all bags / coats in the cloakroom, pay attention to the ushers and DEFINITELY hang around during the interval!"

Leah Franks: "You can take a drink in with you! And if you purchase a drink there’s bins for the reusable cups at the side of the auditorium so you don’t have to hang on to it for the rest of the act"

Barbara: "Move around, dance along, don't stand still or you'll feel the pain later xD Maybe change locations when you come back from the interval so you have a different angle and it doesn't feel too monotonous to be standing at the same place the whole time"

Han: "Stand on the same side of the band, by the stairs - we got bonus character interactions as the cast came on/off stage! Plus, the view was pretty good the whole way through"

Marcus Collick: "Comfortable shoes. Try not to bring a bag as it’s not allowed on the floor. Drink little as it might be tricky to go to the restroom during the show."

Chris Terry: "Get there early and make sure to sit on the table seats at the interval and try and stand near the white lines"

Alex Stenhouse: "Main thing is during the interval sit down on a seat on the platform - then you get to be in the on-stage audience for the opening of act 2, and you get drinks brought to your table - the dulche de leche was very tasty"

Matt Ester: "Stand back, don’t worry about being at the front of the stages all the time, you’ll have a much better view, plus you will be moved around less"

Dr Jemima Tabeart: "Pockets/bum bag for phone/wallet. Don't be afraid to get really close to the stage (but watch out for stage crew). I'd also advise going in way before the start time and hanging around for the interval. Finally, don't feel weird about going solo - I reckon it's more fun that way!"


No. It’s better. I have seen a lot of shows this year and this really is one of the best. Whether you like this particular musical or not, there is something for everyone in this show. You really will be blown away by what you are witnessing on that stage (and all around you)


It runs at 2 hours 50 minutes including a 15 minute interval, but as stated previously, you’re going to want to hang around for that one.


TodayTix offer £25 standing tickets (usually £39.50) on the website each day. Get your fingers ready at 10am each morning for performances that same day but be quick as these will be snapped up in an instant.

The official Bridge Theatre website also offer various deals: Young Bridge members can get immersive standing tickets for £19.50

There is a schools rate of £19.50 for standing tickets with 1 free teacher every 10 pupils and £15 tickets for Thursday matinees.

All tickets for groups of 10+ are available at a cheaper rate.


Guys & Dolls is currently booking at Bridge Theatre until 24th February 2024.

Tickets from

I hope you have found this useful and feel prepared for your trip to see some of the greatest guys and dolls in musical theatre! If you have any other tips to make the most of your experience, leave them in the comments below:

Photos by Manuel Harlan

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