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  • Writer's pictureFrances

Bugsy Malone The Musical Review | Opera House | Manchester

Fat Sam’s speakeasy has plenty to entertain the Opera House audience as the gangster spoof full of showgirls, hoodlums and slapstick offers a feel-good evening of childish fun.

Placing audiences in the 1929 New York prohibition era, writer Alan Parker’s youthful musical plays out a rivalry between Fat Sam (Abbie Snelson) and Dandy Dan (Desmond Cole), as Dan attempts to bring down Sam’s organisation. While its child cast set this 1976 comedy film apart, audiences will relish in name’s production that boasts live musical performances, tireless choreography and a glamorous set. Director Sean Holmes faithfully transfers the film to the stage as the show begins, narrated by shrewd, mobster girlfriend, Tallulah and stunningly staged inside Fat Sam’s Grand Slam club.

Bringing its 20s flair to the lavish costumes of its dancers and performers, the production is bolstered by its boisterous cast whose one-liners and shenanigans keep the laughs flowing throughout the entire evening. Between the charming Gabriel Payne, playing happy-go-lucky Bugsy and the industry ladies, Blousey (Delilah Bennet-Cardy) and Tallulah (Faith Ifil) struggling to find their showbiz spot and keep their place, the scenes offer a mixture of music, drama and violent pie-throwing for a guaranteed crowd-pleasing production.

With Dan’s ongoing quest to take over Sam’s turf, it doesn’t take long for the gangster’s goons to mob the Opera House audience as they compete at being the very best Bad Guys. Holmes’s striking production brings boundless creative energy to the musical as the multitalented ensemble cast give their all to the comedy, throwing double-crossing tricks, pratfalls and a pedal car into the mix. The set's levitating props, rippable set pieces and impressive choreography all add to the short but sweet show.

After Sam discovers his rival's advantage is an impressive, automatic pie gun, the show gears up for an all-out war with scenes bouncing straight off the screen and onto the Opera House stage. Organised crime has never tasted so good, and anyone in the first row of the audience should consider themselves lucky that they aren’t considered to be in enemy territory. This is a live re-enactment that relishes crossing the line and it ensures that audiences get a taste of the action.

Bugsy Malone is the perfect film to stage musical, thanks to its fantastic cast, tap dancing choreography and instantly recognisable soundtrack. It is a must-see musical comedy that doesn’t disappoint its film fans as its story remains a riot of fun, whilst bringing its own level of giddy joy to its live audience.

Tickets are available via the ATG link


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