‘Bugsy Malone’ is set as we all know is in the 1920’s gangster underworld where we’re familiarised with two dim-witted gangs who are managed by their leaders, Fat Sam and Dandy Dan (Archie Barnes/Alesandro Bonelli/Oliver Emery) who are trying to fight for a most treasured weapon called the Splurge Gun. Struggling boxing promoter, Bugsy Malone becomes infatuated with singer, Blousey Brown who has series ambitions of becoming a Hollywood star and wants to be given a chance to sing at Fat Sam’s club called, ‘Fat Sam’s speakeasy’, however, Blousey has some competition for Bugsy’s affections and it is the club’s leading performer, Tallulah. As such; there is a bitter rivalry that forms between the two girls as Bugsy is quite the charmer. Over the course of the performance, Fat Sam is really besieged with worry as many of his gang members are being killed with the Splurge Gun and he hires Bugsy to help him reign victorious over Dandy Dan’s gang. With this, Bugsy then promises to Blousey that he will take her to Hollywood with the money he has earned from Fat Sam. As the battle intensifies, it appears that Fat Sam is not prioritising his club and due to this when Fizzy (Elliot Aubrey/Denzel Eboji/Meki Manu) asks Sam for an audition to be a dancer; Sam is too preoccupied to grant him one. As the search for the for the Splurge Gun becomes more and more of a priority, Bugsy seeks out his boxing pals and some of the unemployed men such as; Babyface (Emily Beacock/Jaydah Bell-Ricketts/Leah Leyman) to outmatch that of Dandy Dan. With regards to Bugsy and Blousey’s relationship, he keeps breaking his promises to take Blousey to Hollywood; nonetheless, with the money he has earned from Fat Sam he finally comes up with the goods to take Blousey to Hollywood, this means that he must love her to pieces. The main battle comes to an almighty head where Dandy Dan blusters into Fat Sam’s club and all hell explodes and the two gangs use Splurge Guns and cream pies and at the finale, the two gangs do find a common ground with one another and they do end up seeking some friendship with a big song and dance piece that we can all get involved with. Parker’s narrative is brilliant as the slapstick comedy does flow similarly to the film version and the music and lyrics from Williams does make you appreciate that you had as a child and musical numbers like; “Fat Sam’s Grand Slam”, “Tomorrow”, “So You Wanna Be A Boxer” and “You Give A Little Love” really captured the spirit of the family musical.
One found the performances by the company of, ‘Bugsy Malone’ to be stupendous as the whole company is fundamentally children apart from the ensemble and it is delightful to see the professionalism that these children have as it looks like they have been doing this for decades, not just a matter of years. Mark Charles/Louis Doran/Adryan Dorset-Pitt is amazing as Bugsy Malone; in particular how we see him trying to earn money through unsavoury means, yet I liked how he come across in the “Down and Out” sequence where we see that he really wants to help those unemployed to feel wanted and the scenes with Blousey were pretty cool. Danya Cherry/Chapman Dixon/Tabitha Knowles/Georgia Pemberton is terrific as Bugsy’s love interest, Blousey Brown; specifically how we see her dreams of superstardom start to fall a part due to Bugsy not living up to his promises, also with the conflict between herself and Tallulah we can see that there could be fireworks with the pair. Vincent Finch/Max Gill/Maddison Tyson is fantastic as Fat Sam; especially when he has so much pressure being put on him as Dandy Dan is killing each of his gang members off one by one and when Knuckles loses his life, we can see a slight feeling of vulnerability from Sam that may not have been expressed in the original 1970’s film, moreover, with Tallulah we can see there’s something there. Olivia Shaye Materson/Rhianna Dorris/Leni Zieglmeiser is lovely as the flirtatious, Tallulah; generally how you can see that herself and Bugsy did have a previous relationship and thankfully there’s some but very minute similarities to the role that was initially played by, Jodie Foster and she gives her own spin on the role which is grand to see.
Sean Holmes’ direction is outstandingly resplendent here as he has really helped fill in the cracks in the original film without ruining what we already know, what is more, he has staged a revival that is noticeably rejoiced by the audience and with Drew McOnie’s glistening choreography they have captured the family elements as well as the1920’s environment to such precision. Jon Bausor’s design is opulently dreamy as we are definitely transported to the gangster’s paradise and the costumes were on point too which makes the show even more impressive, moreover, the scenic art and constructive lived up to my expectations and didn’t disappoint me. Overall, the experience of, ‘Bugsy Malone’ was such a distinguished and charismatically enjoyable and this musical did make me retain the lyrics of the songs and that is what makes a musical fruitful.