Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith


He watched the Jodie Foster movie version as a kid, now NICK HAMMOND is a father himself, he treats his daughters to the full Bugsy Malone treatment at Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre…

I’VE never seen anything quite like it. A bunch of kids, some belting numbers, a sleazy speakeasy and a bucketful of custard – who knew prohibition was this much fun?

Alan Parker’s renowned Bugsy Malone is given the full treatment in the Lyric Hammersmith’s new stomping stageshow directed by Sean Holmes.

Extraordinary sets and some seriously catchy ‘choons’ from the legendary stave of Paul Williams kick off an hour forty of wisecracks, wiseguys, dolls, dummies and dancing that just never gives up.

Max Gill as Fat Sam with Bugsy Malone Ensemble

Tonight’s, Bugsy, Blousey, Fat Sam, Tallulah, Dandy Dan et al are having a real blast – and it shows. Adryan Dorset-Pitt is a pocket-sized powerhouse as the sweetwise Bugsy and Tabitha Knowles’ Blousey is a knockout as his gal with a heart of gold.

Fat Sam is hammed to the hilt by the excellent Max Gill, whose Brooklyn accent never falters. Young Elliott Aubrey has a voice to die for as Fizzy and tiny Alessandro Bonelli wrings every last drop from his lines as the diminutive capo di tutti capo, Dandy Dan. Tallulah, played with a sashay and an arched eyebrow by Rhianna Dorris, is a proper broad.

It’s hard to remember these are, for the most part, children. They are clearly enjoying themselves and nail the roles as well as any adult could have. Better, in fact.

Dale White as Cagey Joe and Ronan Burns. Bugsy Malone Lyric Hammersmith. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Ably accompanied by a killer little band in the pit and a sparse but wonderfully atmospheric stage design from Jon Bausor, the audience is drawn into warm, enthusiastic then rapturous applause as the action – and splurging continues unabated.

Great choreography from Drew McOnie and Fight Director Kate Waters create some memorable moments of mayhem.

By the end, my wife, two daughters and I are on our feet for a standing ovation, watching mesmerised as the gang Charleston, boogie-woogie and jazz hands their way through a showstopping finale to take the roof off.

Bugsy Malone ensemble. Lyric Hammersmith. Photo by Tristram Kenton

Surely destined for a big West End splurge of its own, Bugsy Malone is an absolute must if you’ve got kids. Hell, go and see it even if you haven’t. Perfection.

Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith until 4th September 2016. For more information and tickets visit the website.