Bugsy Malone, the 1976 film by Alan Parker charlestons into Alexandra Palace theatre with a tremendous firing of custard pies! The cult classic of the spoof gangster movie reminds us why we deserve a little bit of fun this festive season and it is refreshing to see this production from Sean Holmes back on stage from its previous 2015 run.
The young cast are a force that drive Alan Parker's vision with great respect, hilarity and fresh passion
Set in the roaring twenties, we find ourselves in the middle of a gang war between Fat Sam and Dandy Dan who are in battle to have the upper hand on the weapons distribution of the city. Like the film, this pastiche performance swaps bullets for custard and adults for children as both leaders of their troupes top at nothing to claim their dominance.
The production begins inside Fat Sam’s speakeasy where we are introduced to Tallulah (Jasmine Sakyiama) who effortlessly draws us into the setting in the roaring twenties with her rendition of the title song, Bugsy Malone. With considerable poise and audience control she tells the story of our hero who happens to be drinking in the bar enjoying the performance. Soon after, Blousey (Mia Lahka) enters the bar with a dream of becoming a performer in New York and a star in LA but after being told to come back tomorrow by Fat Sam (Albie Snelson), she gets some help from an unlikely source, Bugsy Malone (Gabriel Payne). With the promise of making her a star, Bugsy does whatever it takes to ensure Blousey gets to where she needs to be… even if this means participating in some illicit gang activities. Gabriel plays the iconic role of Bugsy with a great stride in his step. His performance is awe-consuming, hilarious and all round entertaining- definitely a rising star on the horizon.
The young cast are a force that drive Alan Parker's vision with great respect, hilarity and fresh passion. Accompanying the wonderful cast of children are an ensemble of adults who help take the performance further with an almighty explosion of joy, professionalism and commitment. The blend of both adult and child performers is a triumph, mixing together as if they have all been working on the show for years. Choreographer Drew McOnie provides enticing dance routines from start to finish especially in numbers such as So You Wanna Be a Boxer and the modern twist in the Finale Megamix. Each number is exhilarating, jaw-dropping and pristine in excecuton - leaving me wanting more as each song concluded.
Director Sean Holmes' Bugsy Malone is a smash hit musical that should not be missed this festive season. The heart, warmth and dedication put into this show by all the creatives enable Bugsy to be seen in a whole new light. The adaptation from the classic 70s masterpiece can now be appreciated by a new generation and continue to be loved by thos who remember other versions.
Bugsy Malone will be performing at the Alexandra Palace theatre until the 15th January 2023 before setting off for the rest of its tour until February 2023! Don’t let this show slip out of your sights or you might face the wrath of a custard pie!