Bugsy Malone. The child starring musical mobster movie made by adults, for kids, but ended up loved by everyone.
The cast is played entirely by child actors. The tone and storyline is as any gangster film you can imagine, but this is made for an intended child audience. It has comedy. It is a musical. And the unlikely trio of gangster/musical/comedy come together with a very unique and entertaining result.
The movie, written and directed by Alan Parker was released in 1976. Parker also wrote the book for the stage version which debuted on the West End in 1983, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Stage productions followed in 1997 starring Sheridan Smith and Jamie Bell.
The next revival production at the Lyric Hammersmith was in 2015 and 2016 and it is that very production which is out on a UK Tour and at Milton Keynes Theatre this week.
The cast is aged between 9 and 15 in the lead roles, with some adult performers too.
Unlike the film which has adult singers lend their voices to the songs, on stage the child performers do allll the work (and make it seem like no work at all). They sing. They dance. Shoutout to the boxing ring scene which is dazzling. They’re all so incredibly talented!
If you’re umming whether Bugsy Malone is for you, don’t get put off, fearing it is only for kids. This isn’t a school-age production. This is an expertly staged trip to the 1920’s with all of the pow from the guns, sequins and gangsters but with none of the scare ratings.
Imagine the film Home Alone. Bugsy Malone is how Kevin Mccallister sees the genre of gangster. Hell, it even has the gangster film snippets you see Kevin watch on the television. Home Alone has the adult theme of a child being left Home Alone and all the worst-case scenario’s happening but it’s digestible for kids and entertaining. And who doesn’t love Home Alone at all ages?! That’s the vibe and its a good one.
Now I’m wishing for a sequel as good as Lost in New York.
Bugsy Malone The Musical is at Milton Keynes Theatre Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 October 2022
Tickets were kindly gifted by Milton Keynes Theatre but they have zero control over what I post, or say about the performance – that’s all me! Thank you for your support. 🖤