Bugsy Malone

Date 6th February 2015
Society Harleston Players
Venue Archbishop Sancroft High School
Type of Production Youth Musical
Director Mike Davison
Musical Director Pamela Vinten-Phipps
Choreographer N/k

Report

Author: Terry Rymer

  Great use of ‘scrims’ to allow the well balanced small band to be accommodated on stage and be ‘lit through’ to Fat Sam’s Night Club…a nice touch, giving us a chance to absorb the atmosphere as we enter to sit at our appropriately named tables for this feast of American gang warfare, massacres and splurge guns…welcome to the party !

 This cast had a ball…each and every one was clearly revelling in the murder, mayhem, mess and misinformation as our very accomplished leads, Bugsy Malone, (Julian Brown), and Fat Sam( Yvette Tyler), set the scene.  Now Yvette has form, having previously been NODA Young Performer of the Year, and her role as Fat Sam was a joy to behold, as she added that edge and confidence that we have come to expect (and still only 14!)… But here we had another contender in first timer Julian Brown as Bugsy: His was an assured and convincing performance with accent to match; he looked good as he made the stage his domain and was every inch the American gangster with ambitions…a young version of Frank Sinatra springs to mind, such was his presence and control of the situation with every inflection and mannerism (and trilby at rakish angle!)…he was just great, and one to watch! His would be girlfriend Blousey Brown (Millie Thetford) was equally well cast as she portrayed perfectly the insecure, even suspicious on occasion, ‘special one’ with lovely voice, who was always the one for Bugsy,(Bonnie and Clyde style!). She was quietly understated but single minded despite the seemingly more ostentatious and determined chancer, Club Singer Tallulah (Lydia Hallsworth) who could belt out a good song and who was always there to lead him astray. Add opposing gang leader Dandy Dan (Chyna Cutting) who was the main contender in the turf wars which seemed to pop up all over the place, but mainly in Fat Sam’s, and we had a right royal flush of principals who were the mainstay of this story. There were all sorts of other characters, who had names to match their Gangster ‘poisenalities’…We particularly liked Knuckles (Isaac Byram))with his knuckle cracking sound effect to make you wince and Snake Eyes (Matthew Hallsworth), great glasses! Fizzy (Lily Compton) who was…well.. fizzy! Ritzy ( Matthew Hallsworth), Shakedown Louis(Isobel Byram), Bronx Charlie( Harriet Gateshill), Doodle (Grace McCabe),Laughing Boy ( Jazmin Wiles),  Yonkers (Katy Croker), Shoulders (Breeze Redwine), Roxy Robinson(Scarlett Fisher), Smolsky (Frankie Smith), O’Dreary (Genevieve Nice), Tillie (Emily Logan), Dotty (Amy Heaton), Loretta (Courtney Rogerson) ‘cute’ Bangles (Georgia Fake), Velma(Victoria Ford). NY’Hack’ Seymour Scoop(Olivia Martin), Leroy Smith (Joshua Jennings), Pickett ( Lily Rasmussen), Louella (Shania Scott)… Now I name these, (surprisingly mostly girls!) as they all played their parts to make this a memorable production with no weak links..even the ‘Splurge Guns’ splurged to order (mostly) and poor old Knuckles got the backfire..or was he stitched up? How we loved the slapstick and general ‘weapon mess’ to perhaps sanitise the death and destruction which still pervades this piece (no doubt tame compared to gaming these days!)…but as a live show it all came together to provide an entertaining and enthralling  evening of  fun and frolic. A great show with so much to enjoy…well done to all involved.