BWW Review: BUGSY MALONE at Hawkins Theatre

BWW Review: BUGSY MALONE at Hawkins Theatre

Reviewed by Sharon Hewlett

The Hawkins Theatre has had some spectacular shows grace its stage since it opened in the early 90's and the young talent showcased in "Bugsy Malone" will ensure there are more in the future.

Although the audience was light, the laughter was hearty and the clapping plentiful. From the opening notes of the band- cleverly placed onstage amidst the action- to the final bow, the audience was taken on a ride of heart, emotion and friendship. It is clear that the cast are a team and are proud of what they have produced- all bowing as equals at the end of the show.

It is impressive to note that the choreographer role was shared by two cast members- Mya Pritchard and Tia Ormsby. This shows the investment this Theatre Company has not only in youth talent but also in developing youth in creative leadership roles.

The reveal of Fat Sam's Club was a highlight, with a simple but effective set to fill the vast stage. The lights added the final touch of gloom or mystery.

There were issues with sound but I am confident they will be ironed out. At times the dialogue was difficult to understand due to the rush of excitement in action scenes.

In the role of Bugsy, Bailey Waugh led the cast, charming from his first appearance, and with an impressive New York accent. He came into his own when he belted out the solo in "Down and Out"- in fact, the whole cast came together vocally and choreographically in this number. It was refreshing to see Mya Pritchard (playing Blousey Brown) in a leading role. Often Pritchard steals the scenes with her dancing but in this role she was able to showcase her acting and singing skills as well. I particularly enjoyed the emotion behind "Ordinary Fool".

Standouts in the supporting cast were Tia Ormsby (Tallulah) who's voice, charm and costuming reflected the character perfectly, Nina King (Fizzy) who's voice commanded attention in her heartfelt rendition of "Tomorrow" whilst dancing, Grace Miller (as Doodle) who has a natural stage presence in all the roles she plays and Lucy Beale (as Lena Marrelli) who's rich toned voice stole the stage- between vocals and comedic timing- she is one to watch for future productions.

Many of the cast played multiple roles which is to be commended. Transitions between scenes were smooth and costume changes reflected the era. Tasselled and sequinned, Tallulah and the other girls in the club offset the gangsters in their pinstripe suits and their simple choreography ensured all the girls were confident in their moves.

I wanted to see a little more mess with the cream pies but the guns were very effective and something my youngest son looked forward to in every scene! My eldest son enjoyed the slapstick humour.

This is a great gift to your children in the holidays when you are looking for something to do- but it's only on until July 14th so book quickly!

Bugsy Malone
Hawkins Theatre
July 9-14

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