Share |

Bugsy Malone at Theatre Royal, Windsor

Published by: Kate Braxton on 9th Aug 2017 | View all blogs by Kate Braxton

Bugsy Malone at Theatre Royal Windsor 

by Kate Braxton 

Let’s cut to the cardboard car chase, this community production of Bugsy Malone at Theatre Royal, Windsor is an absolute delight. If anyone has dared to make you feel small this week, get down amongst young friends for this slapstick musical comedy, ‘cos this is where the fun’s at. 

Theatre Director, Robert Miles set the scene on opening night, as it was the first show since the theatre has been fully re-decorated, sponsored by fine paint and paper suppliers, Farrow & Ball. Nothing 34 young cast members with an arsenal of splurge guns couldn’t christen.

Most people know Bugsy Malone as the 1976 Alan Parker film, starring 13 year-old Jodi Foster as Talullah. I had forgotten just what a great score it is, and how much enjoyment a very simple story can bring to the stage.

Set on the streets of New York in the 1920s, Dandy Dan's hoodlums are terrorising the district with their splurge arms. His rival, Fat Sam Stacetto runs the Grand Slam Speakeasy and his gang are still using old-fashioned pies. Fat Sam engages the help of Bugsy Malone, a smooth city slicker, because most of his gang have been splurged.

 

Bugsy, who has promised to take his love interest and singer, Blousey Brown, to Hollywood, has to break his date with her. Meanwhile Bugsy and Leroy Smith - a guy with an awesome punch - witness a secret delivery of guns at Dock 17. A bundle of shenanigans culminates in a final splurge-down and the love split is resolved.  

Under the baton of musical director, Tim Hammond, the Windsor band keep the tempo moving for the young actors and actresses, many of whom have never performed on such a prestigious stage. Despite a few mis-timed cues between actors and technical, the cast is hard-working and a joy to watch.

Astonishingly, there isn’t a precocious BGT wannabe in sight. Most of the principals hold their American accents admirably, especially given they’re quite an international bunch. Australian-born Owen Barkla has a cute, Mark Lester-ish charm that puts him rightly in the role of Bugsy. Chloe Stammage’s performance as his sweetheart, Blousey, is controlled and mature. She has a natural style on stage, and a very promising singing voice.

One of my favourite moments in this show is Dizzy, the janitor’s wistful solo, ‘Tomorrow never comes’. It is a difficult song to sing, and Dilsher Bagri (who is Head Chorister in his school choir) hits the spot here, providing a solid, steady performance of the faithful, overlooked talent.

 

Confident performance of the production goes to the accomplished Mackenzie Foxtrot. A seasoned young actor, with an astonishingly consistent accent, his unique characterization of Fat Sam packs quite a punch when wrapped up with his natural comic timing. 

Originally from Ghana, Araba Blankson is wonderful as Tallulah. She makes the part her own, she is captivating and sassy, and holds the audience controllingly in her gaze as she takes centre stage for her big number. 

And for sheer inspired casting, and some watch-this-one factor, is the noticeable Lisbon-born Guilherme Barbosa as Leroy/Snake Eyes. He’s funny, he gets on with it, he has presence.

As a resident of the Royal Borough myself, I am proud that Bill Kenright’s theatre delivers this terrific learning programme and the kids look like they’re having the time of their lives. Big credit goes to director, Carole Todd and Camilla Rowland for her natty choreography. If anything, the finale could be shaped a little more tightly to sew up this joyful production, but there really should be a lot of happy punters in Windsor this week.

Bugsy Malone is running from Tuesday 8th - Sunday 13th August 2017.

For Tickets, call Box Office: 01753 853 888

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

 

 

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 8 months ago
    Thanks, Kate. Sounds like some very promising talent on stage.
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.