Splurge guns and pies at the ready. Forty years after Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone hit the big screen it remains a popular choice among youth groups everywhere.
Youth Onstage really bring out the show’s humour in a production at The Old Rep in Birmingham. The story is based on the mob rivalries of 1920s Prohibition America as Fat Sam and Dandy Dan go head to head for supremacy. Cue a gangland war, a love story and a lot of splurging.
Gibsa Bah shines as the protagonist Bugsy with natural stage presence, while Eboni Green has poise and a lovely voice as the sassy object of his affections Blousey. Thomas Ashen steals the show as Fat Sam with an accent which never once drops and strong characterisation. Needless to say it’s not easy for youngsters to look and act old, but Ashen gets the physicality of his character spot on.
He is well supported by Georgia Sheward as his moll Tallulah. An 11-year-old Jake Ashen impresses as Fat Sam’s rival Dandy Dan, alongside his wife Louella who is portrayed nicely by Phoebe Mason. Meanwhile Nicholas Eynon-Colon impresses as Fizzy, particularly in a delightful rendition of Tomorrow.
The action moves along at a good pace and there’s strong support from Esme Read and Bethany Leonard as Lt. O’Dreary and Captain Smolsky; the hapless police team trying to keep up with the ever-increasing number of splurge gun victims. And Gracie Evenden lights up the stage in There’s No Business Like Show Business as the showy, pompous performer Lena Morelli.
Well done to director Deb Brook and her team for creating this fun-filled version of a classic.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.