Bugsy Malone - Our Review

August 8, 2019 by Leigh-on-sea.com

The Summer Youth Project is a fantastic initiative inviting young people from all over Southend to audition, rehearse and perform a show during the start of the school holidays. It’s no easy feat. Between the ages of 9 – 19, they only have a 2-week rehearsal period before the curtain goes up at The Palace Theatre.

The project is in its 12th year and 2019 brings us the classic slapstick musical comedy, Bugsy Malone.  I always loved the Alan Parker film version, starring Jodie Foster as Tallulah.  I was fascinated by all these children, placed in an adult world of gangsters and cars and cabaret bars.  The splurge gun was every child’s dream ‘piece of kit’.  What a fabulous choice for this year’s production.

Set in the 1920s, full of flapper girls and gangsters, it follows the rivalry between two half-witted street gangs and the washed up, well-intentioned, one-time boxer, Bugsy Malone, who steps in to take control of Fat Sam's gang and give Dandy Dan and his boys what they've got coming.  

It’s actually really funny with plenty of opportunity to entertain the audience with its sometimes glitzy, sometimes vaudeville, routines.  With catchy songs thrown in, my particular favourite moments came from "So You Wanna Be a Boxer?” and “Down and Out” which featured almost all the 80+ cast!  There was also a very beautiful rendition of “Tomorrow” which just showcased how talented these young people are. 

The cast’s enthusiasm, dedication and talent shone through. For an opening night, there was an assured confidence and energy that even professional actors having trouble maintaining.

Most of all, it looked like they were having a ridiculous amount of fun. That final scene!  It took all my willpower not to leap onto the stage and join in. I mean, what’s not to love?  Covering each other in splurge gun gunge.

What a wonderful opportunity this project presents.  Not only working with a professional creative team, but a chance to make friends and memories and produce a show in front of a devoted audience. Well done to all involved. The hard work paid off. They were all stars.

This show is on until Sunday 11th August. Do yourself a favour and get yourself down there. It’s a great show to take the kids to and may also inspire young, talented stars to get involved in next year!

To book your tickets please click here 


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