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Review | Bugsy Malone | Manchester Opera House | 08/11/2022

Based on the 1967 light-hearted gangster film, Bugsy Malone would be happiest spending time with his girlfriend Blousy. However, in New York during the prohibition era, the laid-back life simply isn't an option for Bugsy. Especially when rival gang leaders Fat Sam and Dandy Dan are battling for power!

It is hard to believe that a beloved classic such as this hasn’t toured the UK before. Known for having a young cast carrying the show, Bugsy Malone first hit the stage in 1983 with a young Catherine Zeta-Jones. This tour is based on the Lyric Hammersmith 2015 revival.

The stage is set with dingy New York fire escapes, before the cast take the stage. Any fear of a dark gritty show is soon dispelled with the camp and glitzy ensemble performance of ‘Fat Sam’s Grand Slam’. The best moments throughout are these big ensemble numbers which are fun and choreographed perfectly by Drew McOnie. The first act otherwise took its time to find its feet, and not all of the solo performances are as strong as the ensemble numbers. The second act is more consistent, with the highlight being ‘So You Wanna Be a Boxer’ which is filled with comic charm and slick choreography in both the dancing itself and the well-executed fighting.

Whilst some of the young performers are simply outstanding, not all performances were at the same level, which let the production down somewhat. I’m not sure this mattered completely as it was wonderful to see the Opera House filled with young people getting their first taste of theatre. From the dancing at the end, it was clear that a good time was had overall.

Want more of a taste of what to expect? Watch the official trailer below.

Bugsy Malone remains at the Manchester Opera House until Saturday 12/11/2022 where it will no doubt be enjoyed by many more families and younger theatre goers. See ticket link below

Gifted: I was gifted my ticket for this show in return for my review. All views are my own and 100% free from influence.


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