BIG The Musical

Date 9th February 2024
Society Llandudno Musical Productions
Venue Theatr Colwyn
Type of Production Musical
Director Rachel Baker assisted by Emma Joyce
Musical Director Simone Baldwin
Choreographer Rachel Baker assisted by Lara Crawford

Report

Author: Ian Wilson on behalf of Lyn Emmerson

BIG is a musical adaptation of the 1988 film starring Tom Hanks. Book by John Weidman, Music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr.,

Theatre Colwyn 8th – 10th February 2024

BIG is about a boy, Josh Baskin, 12 years old who, one night makes a wish at a Zoltar Speaks machine at the local funfair. His wish is granted and he becomes BIG. With the aid of his best friend, Billy, he must cope with his new adulthood until he can find the machine so that he can wish himself back.

I have to say that I didn’t like this musical………..I LOVED it!  From the opening number to the final curtain it was full of energy and enthusiasm.

Set in the 80s the show opens on an empty stage with a brick effect backdrop and a screen above that displayed scenes throughout the show, the screen would slide up to reveal Josh’s bedroom upstairs. Other scenes were set up using stage furniture and props.

 Featuring a talented cast with an age range of 6 to 60 everyone showed great versatility on stage, singing and dancing to great effect.

 Bohan Baker as 12 year old Josh Baskin, has a great stage presence and a good knowledge of musical theatre. Jamie Toffrey as 30 year old Josh Baskin gave an impressive and emotional performance of playing a 12 year old. Ben Thomas as Billy Kopecki, Josh’s best friend, has a fine singing voice and took command of the stage.                                                                                                                     

Emma Joyce as Mrs Baskin, Josh’s distraught mom sang through the part with ease, she excelled in the role.                                                                                           

Katie Glover as Susan Lawrence was perfect in the role as older Josh’s girlfriend her, singing is a joy and her song “LITTLE SUSAN LAWRENCE” was particularly poignant and emotional as she sang about her childhood self while the children performed the song through dance.                                    

Malcolm Anglesea as Mr Macmillan the owner of the toy store completed the principal line up. I particularly liked “FUN” set in the toy store and featured the famous floor keyboard that both Josh and Mr Macmillan danced on with impeccable timing.  A rousing closing number to finish act 1 was “CROSS THE LINE” as the ensemble are trying to work out what the new toy for Christmas is going to be.                                                                                                                                                                         

Act 2 was a NIGHTMARE performed by all the children in the company acting like zombies and attacking older Josh in his dreams. This looked such fun and the kids can sure dance!

There was an excellent creative team that brought the musical to life: Simone Baldwin, musical Director. Rachel Baker, Director/ choreographer. Emma Joyce, assistant director. Lara Crawford, choreographer. Marian Griffith, costumes and Ian Appleton as company stage manager. All backstage crew provided invaluable support with scene changes and lighting well executed.

Some minor sound issues did not stop the audience and myself from enjoying a fabulous evening. Well done and thank you.

Ian Wilson