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HomeTheatreREVIEW: Bugsy Malone on the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton

REVIEW: Bugsy Malone on the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton


The 1976 Alan Parker Movie Bugsy Malone caught the eye and handed into film folklore with its very younger forged and splurge weapons in making a spoof musical based mostly across the gangster wars of the American prohibition period and starred the great Jodie Foster because the speakeasy singer Tallulah and Bonnie Langford as Lena. There was a appeal and humour within the mixture of the younger performers and light-weight contact supply of such a grim and violent interval of American historical past. It’s a considerably daring transfer from producers, Kenny Wax and Theatre Royal Bathtub, to revive the Lyric Hammersmith 2015 manufacturing with a forged of younger leads (aged from 9 to fifteen) with a crew of chaperones, and an ensemble of younger adults, many making their musical debuts for an in depth UK tour of the bigger regional theatres which started in Bathtub Theatre Royal in August. 

After we caught up with the tour on the big Mayflower Theatre in Southampton in a one-third full stalls auditorium, there was no denying the manufacturing values invested within the touring present. The false again wall portrayed the doorway to the basement Speakeasy with a superbly colored bar truck and flown tables taking us contained in the venue with elegant ease. The automotive chase was additionally splendidly delivered to the stage with a pedal automotive and strobe impact lights. Certainly, there was an acceptable air of theatricality by Director Sean Holmes setting most of the present’s numbers as staged performances and with the occasional breaking of the fourth wall. When a personality is shot with the splurge weapons a photographer seems to seize the demise and within the flash of sunshine, the character rises and walks off. It captures the appeal of the unique for the stage. The practicalities of staging imply nonetheless the splurge weapons are lowered to splatter weapons after which lastly shoot out which was an excellent slapstick scene within the movie is considerably muted. The present may be very properly lit by Philip Gladwell with neon indicators and good use of spotlights and strobes to focus on the motion.

After all, the present relies upon finally on the performances of the younger leads, and we noticed one of many three various groups, Roxy, on our go to led by Amar Blackman as the previous boxing promotor Bugsy Malone who falls for wannabe nightclub singer Blousy, Mia Lakha. Fats Sam the speakeasy proprietor was performed by Charlie Burns and his main girl, Tallulah by Jasmine Sakyiama and his caretaker Fizzy by Aidan Oti. His arch-rival the diminutive Dandy Dan was performed by Rayham Kufuor- Grey, and the seventh character was the daring down and out Babyface by Kayla-Mai Alvares. You may’t assist however smile at their efforts to behave as adults and maintain the American accents. They transfer properly, you possibly can hear a lot of the phrases clearly and have largely tuneful voices. However on the enormous Mayflower stage, they do at instances look slightly misplaced and as younger performers are nonetheless studying the stagecraft to make it look pure and make the influence they deserve. Will probably be fascinating in years to return to see which use this wonderful tour expertise to become future musical theatre stars.

Their efforts are usually overshadowed by the superb ensemble of younger professionally skilled performers who dominate the stage and are very good within the well-drilled large manufacturing numbers which showcase Drew McOnie wonderful choreography. The opening “Fats Sam’s grand slam” with seven women and 5 boys units the scene and the 2 second-half routines of “So that you wish to be a boxer” with a stunning, executed boxing match and the “Down and out” military are present highlights. They’re step good all through and still have good cameos moments within the narrative as for instance Knuckles, one in all Fats Sam’s hoodlums and Leroy, the would-be boxer.


The music by Paul Williams is energetic and enjoyable and resonates the period and right here is enjoyably performed by a small band of six below Alan Dale. Lots of the songs are immediately recalled though it’s over forty years since we noticed the movie and it’s shocking that he’s higher recognized for his particular person songwriting (for The Carpenters) and TV Themes and movie scores ( reminiscent of The Love Boat & The Muppet Film) than as Musical Theatre composer.

Although it’s a easy story and not one of the relationships actually develop as a result of the emphasis is on infantile enjoyable and humour, it’s a energetic entertaining present. I feel in a extra intimate venue with a full home, the proficient younger performers can have extra influence after they take centre stage. However most of all they may study from the expertise on the tour which continues to February 2023 and a few that select to will certainly develop into future Musical Theatre stars.


Assessment by Nick Wayne 


Ranking: ★★★ 

Seat: Stalls, Row T | Worth of Ticket: £24.50

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