Review of 'Alan Parker's Bugsy Malone'


A stage version based on the 1976 movie musical, Bugsy Malone has an all-child cast telling the story of a prohibition-era “wise guy” Bugsy Malone. Centered around the successful speakeasy Fat Sam's, Bugsy is attracted to a struggling entertainer, Blousey Brown who dreams of travelling to Hollywood to make it big. Fat Sam is worried his rival Dandy Dan will be trying to take over his business after they shoot up the place. Fat Sam's gang continue to be attacked by Dandy Dan and Sam is forced to find a source of guns but will it be in time…?

For something labelled as a “gangster musical” this is a surprisingly fun and exuberant show. The “splurge” machine guns shooting custard make light of the frequent violence as when the “splurged” bodies are immediately photographed they come back to life frequently with a “oh man” as they walk off the stage. The young cast are incredible delivering strong performances pretty much all round though we particularly found Fan Sam was particularly exceptional - Precocious, fantastic voice and entertaining. The sets are fairly simple but very effective. The audience had quite a number of young people in it who seemed to very much enjoy the show and at only an hour and a half (plus a 20 minute interval) it is able to maintain their attention. The action on the stage is often frenetic with the dance numbers incredibly well done - We really found the “Bad Guys” number in act one and the “Down and Out” number in act two our favourite with great music and amazing choreography delivered with gusto and great precision.

Unfortunately we did find a few performances not quite as good in particular Bugsy who, though hitting all of his lines and cues, did not really seem to draw the audience in – There seemed to be no spark to his performance and he did not really portray much in the way of emotion though, to be fair, this could be simply first night jitters. Similarly, while Blousey Brown's performance was more emotional her singing was not quite up to par.

These small issues aside, the performance was highly entertaining and very well received. Following it's highly successful 2015 run I am sure this will continue on that success throughout 2016. We found ourselves humming the catchy songs for many hours after…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-06-11

Lyric Hammersmith

Location: London (England)

Address: Lyric Square, King St, London W6 0QL ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Hammersmith

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8741 6850


lyric.jpg The Lyric is the center of not only live theatre but also in encouraging young people in pursuing a career in the theatre. Recently it completed a refurbishment including the Reuben Foundation Wing with state of the art educational and entertainment facilities. The Lyric makes free tickets available to local residents and workers for every show's first night. Located above the Kings Mall the main classically-decorated horseshoe auditorium is more than 100 years old and there is also a roof-top bar and cafe.