Review: Bugsy Malone by York Stage Musicals

Some of the young cast from the splurgtastic Bugsy Malone. Photographs: York Stage Musicals
23 Jul 2015 @ 2.09 pm
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Bugsy Malone

Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Until Sat July 25 @ 7.30pm, with 2.30pm Sat matinee


Tickets via York Theatre Royal

York Stage Youth kicked off the summer with their performance of family favourite Bugsy Malone.

Young members of the company that previously brought Phantom Of The Opera, Sister Act, Hairspray and Billy Elliot to York turned their talents to the musical based on Alan Parker’s 1976 film.

A very youthful cast took to the stage, with guns firing silly string and shaving foam pies, to bring to life the gangster era of America in the Twenties.

Despite a few technical hitches and first night nerves the show was well received by the packed house with a standing ovation at the end (although the understandably enthusiastic whoops and applause from the many family members in the audience did mean I missed the odd line of dialogue).

The flappers hit the stage
The flappers hit the stage
A gangster's paradise
A gangster’s paradise

The costumes were well made, if at times a little on the large side, drowning some of the youngest cast members. It was hard to perceive them as gangsters when they looked so cute!

The set was simple, but effective: a brick wall backdrop that had an opening that was used to highlight events such as a shooting or nightclub performer.

The story is narrated by Bugsy Malone (Sam Roberts) who tells the tale of the battle between Fat Sam (Oscar Rogers – whose padding left me feeling he was going to fall over any moment it was so top heavy) and Dandy Dan, Sam’s dapper rival (Oliver Fox).

Through the tale he meets Blousey (Scarlett Watson), a small town singer, but can she compete for his affections against the likes of the devious Tallulah (Sophie Cox), who’s supposed to be Fat Sam’s girl.

Everyone in the large cast played their part in this lively and energetic production filled with song and dance numbers and directed by Nik Briggs. Runs till Saturday (July 25).