Bugsy Malone 2022 UK Tour Review

Bugsy Malone is a film that has entertained the masses for the past nearly 50 years. With a cast solely of children, this musical movie told the tale of Bugsy Malone and the conflict between Fat Sam and Dandy Dan and won over the hearts of many, including myself. Who wouldn't want to drive pedal cars, fire splurge guns and pretend to be grown ups? 

Now on a UK tour, this latest revival of the show packs a punch and takes to the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton to entertain us and show us who the good and bad guys really are. As a super fan of the film, I have to be honest and say I went into the theatre with some nerves, but let's just say we could have been anything that we wanted to be and I was overjoyed with the outcome! 

For those unaware of the story of Bugsy Malone, it's a simple comedy gangster musical. Two feuding gangs are at war, with Dandy Dan using his newly acquired splurge guns (that spray a mix of custard and cream rather than bullets) against Fat Sam in the hope that he can take ownership of Sam's empire. Caught in the crossfire is Bugsy Malone, a seemingly good guy that always get himself caught up in troubles and seeming to know everyone. Bugsy catches the eye of Blousey, the new girl in town and tries to win her over whilst batting away the attention of the enigmatic Tallulah. What happens is a whirlwind of conflict, car chases and romance as they all try to find their own happy endings amongst custard pies and pedal cars. 

I absolutely adored this adaptation. From the staging to costuming, visually this was everything you need and more in a show. Bugsy Malone is full of classic hits that anyone will recognise and love. From the hilarious "Bad Guys" that had me grinning from ear to ear, to "You Give A Little Love" that has you dancing in your seat, each song is performed with precision and poise that is nothing short of perfection. A seamless set that almost comes straight from the west end lends to this performance and really packs a punch. The splurge guns fired across the stage and the pedal cars sped through the scenes. Whilst some areas seemed simple, they really allowed the story and performers to shine. 

The cast itself is mixed up of child actors and adults impersonating children. The adult supporting cast were brilliant at adapting to role after role and they seemed to never be off stage, nor stop. I loved how they all lent their acting to the humour of the show, whilst allowing the kids to shine, but I have to say a major props to Lucy Young who seemed to flit from gangster sidekick to dancer and crazy mobster without even a care in the world. 

The child performers each took to the stage as if it was second nature. I honestly would have been terrified about being on stage at their age, but they took it all in their stride and gave a brilliant performance. Amar Blackman played Bugsy and his coolness radiated from stage, taking to the title role with ease, whilst Ava Hope Smith performed as both the entitled Lena and ditsy Babyface, she's got a career that is going to go far with the performance she gave tonight! Charlie Burns was nothing but iconic in his role as Fat Sam, bringing both hilarity and sincerity in his role. His cleaning of the stage skit had both me and Max in fits of laughter. Finally Taziya-Faye Katsande blew everyone away as Tallulah, giving a performance as if she had been performing the role for years. Her vocal range and stage presence meant that she commanded the audience's attention whenever she stepped on the stage and I can honestly say she was impressive beyond words.

Bugsy Malone is a show that will entertain young and old, it's a show that has its fair share of laughs and groans throughout the two hours you are immersed in its world. We could have been anywhere that we wanted to be, and in the Mayflower was exactly the perfect place to spend our evening. With dazzling sets, superb singing, and songs that will have you grinning and dancing in your seat, you'll find a seat at Fat Sam's and never want to leave. 

Anybody who is anybody will soon walk through the theatre doors as Bugsy Malone is a five star show. On until 28th August, you won't want to miss it! For tickets and more info: https://www.mayflower.org.uk/whats-on/bugsy-malone-2022/

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