photography by Tom Wren. 

Bugsy Malone
Curve Theatre, Leicester
★★

Bugsy Malone is a musical that instantly resonates with you to be a production full of fun and energy from the moment the curtain goes up. Curve Theatre in Leicester continues to thrive on the celebration of the local talent 'right on our doorstep' and Alan Parker's Bugsy Malone sets to be the perfect musical to showcase such talented young people. 

By creating community productions Curve 'welcomes anyone with a passion for theatre to come to Curve, work with exceptional artists and take over our stages'.  I was thrilled to see what Curve had produced with the local talent.

Bugsy Malone was a 1976 musical gangster film, which was based loosely on events from the time of prohibition, and the exploits of real life gangsters Al Capone and Bugs Moran. The film was produced when the British film industry was struggling and once it arrived on screen it went on to win five BAFTA Awards. After being such a surprise success of writer Alan Parker's, it arrived in London's West End where it premiered in 1983. 

It was Alan's eldest son, Alex, who insisted that all of the characters should all be played by children. This wasn't always successful with film productions and even at the London West End production either. It wasn't until 1997 when the National Youth Music Theatre put together a production with all of the children doing the singing, dancing and acting! It's a production which has been staged by groups of young people all over the world and continues to be a big hit!

Curve's production had bags full of energy and punch as soon as the music began, with a cast that was full of professionalism from the very beginning. Choreographed by Nick Winston, back from the success of Legally Blonde the musical numbers were slick, energetic and at a level that each performer could do perfectly. It was just an incredible standard for young people to meet so well in the performance.

photography by Tom Wren. 

From the first ensemble performance of Fat Sam's Grand Slam to the finale of You Give A Little Love you cannot fault their energetic flare to such a glamorous era. 

I couldn't stop looking at the beauty of the scenery, it completely worked in giving a modernistic twist on the era that Bugsy Malone is set in as well as allowing the audience to see the orchestra in the back of the stage floor too. The band themselves were also community based, with 25 talented young people taking us through the performance with the strength of their musical score. The cast were very interactive throughout the performance and used the whole auditorium to bring it to life! You definitely needed to need look around the space to make sure you didn't miss any of the excitement. 

All of the young cast acted with strength and confidence which was beyond their years, if you closed your eyes you wouldn't believe how young some of these performers were! The youngest being just nine years old! The young cast completely immersed themselves within their roles with a very big nod and big congratulations to 15 year old Maeve Wood who played BLOUSEY. She was absolutely incredible and her solo performance was full of emotion and strength that that performance alone deserved a standing ovation. 

photography by Tom Wren. 

I also thought young Arlo Mulligan-Vassel who played Fizzy was just as much of a young actor to watch out for in the future as well as the rest of the cast. 

You will not be disappointed in what is a high standard of professional production with moments of audience participation and interactive elements which brought the era just as much as the story to life. I also thoroughly enjoyed having a little dance on stage at the very end of the performance too!

If you can check it out or any future Curve Community Productions then definitely do, Curve Theatre definitely provided an incredible evening at the theatre that you shouldn't miss!

thanks for reading,
Disclaimer: I was invited to the press evening performance of Curve's Community Production of Bugsy Malone at Curve Theatre in Leicester in return for this post to be published. The photos are sourced from photographer Tom Wren . All views are on my own.