Bugsy Malone

Date 9th May 2019
Society Sawston Youth Drama
Venue The Marven Centre, Sawston, Cambridge.
Type of Production Youth
Director Gareth Furbank
Musical Director Clare Irwin
Choreographer Katie McArthur
Producer Mark Long


Author: Decia Ranger

This show, written for children, has been a favourite of junior societies for many years. Gangsters, splurge guns, American accents, what’s not to love?   A New York accent though is not easy and can sound harsh, but these young performers gave it their best shot and for the most part it worked well.  

The very large cast were obviously all enjoying themselves. Elliot Pratt as Bugsy Malone played his role well but he did tend to rush his lines. This character does a certain amount of narrating but at times it was difficult to understand him, which was a shame.  Diction and projection can of course be learnt and I’m sure this will come with experience.  Elliot does though have a good singing voice and his solo Down and Out was very well sung.

Congratulations to Phoebe Meikle for her lovely performance as Blousey Brown. Quiet but determined to make a name for herself in Hollywood, this character has some lovely songs.  I particularly like Ordinary Fool and Phoebe sang it beautifully.

A very good performance from Arnaud Le Novere as Fat Sam.  I was impressed with this young man when I saw him last year and he is certainly maturing into a confident and competent actor.  He has excellent stage presence and connects well with the audience.  Very well done.

Tallulah has to display a certain amount of sex appeal and needs to be portrayed as the complete opposite   to the quiet Blousey.  We have to bear in mind though that these are children and there is a line which should not be crossed.  I think SYD got the balance just right and Mariana Gomes made an excellent Tallulah. She has a strong singing voice and her song My Name is Tallulah was nicely sung. She was well supported in her role by The Grand Slam Showgirls.

There were other good performances from India Wilkinson as Fizzy, Zac Jepps as Dandy Dan and Freddie Keeler as Leroy.  In fact all the principals performed well and thoroughly deserved to be in the main line up. 

And then of course we come to Fat Sam’s Gang and Dandy Dan’s Gang, far too many to mention individually so congratulations to them all on their terrific performances.   

Costumes were excellent as was the set. I loved the art deco style lamps, and the brick effect walls with wall mounted phones, all adding to the authenticity.

Musical accompaniment was good.  There were a few lighting blips but this was the first night so hopefully they got sorted. 

Altogether, another great show from SYD Juniors.  Well done to everyone involved and thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.