icons-02 icons-01 MM Logo Instagram FILM FREEWAY LOGO

blog

Movie news, reviews, features and more thoughts coming soon...

By midlandsmovies, Aug 26 2016 09:10AM

A splurge of talent comes to Leicester in gangster film musical Bugsy Malone


Released in the summer of 1976, Alan Parker’s Bugsy Malone is a musical gangster film set in New York in the 1920s with a cast of only child actors and this new Curve Community Production brings that Jazz age vibe to the Leicester theatre stage.


Directed and choreographed by Nick Winston, the show takes the music of songwriter Paul Williams and tells the story of washed up boxing promoter Bugsy Malone as he flirts with aspiring singer Blousey Brown amidst a backdrop of a city-wide gang rivalry between Fat Sam and newcomer Dandy Dan and his hoods.


The original 70’s film was Parker's feature-length directorial debut and introduced actor Scott Baio (later of Happy Days fame) as well as a 13-year old Jodie Foster as Tallulah. At the time of filming, all of the cast were under 17 years old.


For this local production, director Nick Winston has brought along his unique choreography previously used in other film-related shows such as Legally Blonde and Grease to design a fantastic piece which showcases Leicester’s brightest young talent. Taking on everything from “Fat Sam's Grand Slam" speakeasy showtune to upbeat "So You Wanna Be a Boxer?" the adolescent actors encapsulated the music and prohibition vibe in all its glory.


In a whirl of gangsters and guns - for the uninitiated, the splurge guns fire kid-friendly whipped cream – the community cast and orchestra undersold their talents as an ‘amateur’ company and delivered the goods in all the important areas. The modern Smooth Criminal-influenced speakeasy dance number complimented the Charleston bopping as showgirls danced on tables whilst the acting of Alfie Bright (Dandy Dan) and Joel Fossard-Jones as the hero Bugsy Malone were particular standouts.


The acting was top notch across the board though as Arlo Mulligan-Vassel (Fizzy) delivered a brilliant solo rendition of “Tomorrow Never Comes” early in the show whilst Harvey Thorpe encapsulated a superb sleazy (Fat) Sam and Amica Kuroda (Lena) almost stole the show as a diminutive but strong loudmouth singer at an audition.


Special note should go to the stage design. A series of elevated train lines (Chicago’s infamous ‘L’ track) alongside a huge skyscraper-like video board allowed the audience to be whisked away to different parts of the city – even at times becoming a visual printing press for the narrative’s news style. As well as these impressive visual designs, the display was a practical prop too with some ‘screens’ opening up as windows and doors adding physicality to the stage as well. At times the smoky silhouettes of the dark city streets were straight from a film noir further enhancing the play’s dazzling cinematic quality.


This show’s success mirrors the film’s achievements where it gained award nominations including Best Motion Picture, Best Score and Best Song at the Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song Score. Alan Parker received the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, and a nomination for Best Direction too.


Back to the stage though, Bugsy Malone is a phenomenal success – it being one of my favourite musicals may have made me slightly biased – but the costumes, music and especially the delivery of song and dance numbers by the whole cast made this a magical and marvellous “Malone” night to remember. Check it out while you still can.


Midlands Movies Mike


Bugsy Malone can be caught at The Curve from Friday 19th August — Sunday 28th August



By midlandsmovies, Jun 15 2016 01:50PM

Local Leicester theatre The Curve is showcasing local talent with a new Midlands production of Bugsy Malone. Midlands Movies Mike speaks to The Curve to find out more about the child-focused musical.


Bugsy Malone was written by Alan Parker with music and lyrics by Paul Williams and used a child-only cast to show a time of 1930s prohibition with the rival gangs of Fat Sam and Dandy Dan fighting it out on the streets. Sam’s only hope is washed up boxer Bugsy Malone who also has eyes for wannabe showgirl Blousey Brown. The original 1976 film version was Parker's feature-length directorial debut and introduced young actor Scott Baio and featured a 13-year old Jodie Foster.


At the end of Summer, Leicester’s premier theatre will host an adaptation using over 30 young performers, and a home-grown orchestra will also be present at this year’s Made at Curve Community Production of the quirky musical.


In this version, up-and-coming local talent makes up the show’s crew of gangsters and showgirls including Joel Fossard-Jones as Bugsy Malone, Maeve Woods as Blousey, Harvey Thorpe as Fat Sam, Alfie Bright as Dandy Dan, Muhammed Ibraheem as Roxy Robinson and Benjamin Cowan as Knuckles. Femme-fatale Tallulah, Jodie Foster’s original role, will be played by Jennifer Brown.


Joel Fossard-Jones returns to Curve in the title-role following performances in previous productions including Adrian Mole in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole The Musical, and in other film-spinoffs as The Artful Dodger in Oliver! and Kurt Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.


The Curve itself is a spectacular state-of-the-art theatre based in the heart of Leicester’s vibrant Cultural Quarter with an award-winning building designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly.


For this production, and a first for Curve, Bugsy Malone will also feature a community orchestra made entirely of local musicians. Musical director George Dyer will lead the orchestra with many of the participants performing in an on-stage production for the first time.


The annual community productions provide an opportunity for people of all ages to work with Curve’s professional production and technical teams. The shows are central to Curve’s ongoing commitment to nurture, develop and celebrate local talent from across the region. Curve Associate Artist and choreographer for Legally Blonde and Grease, Nick Winston, will direct.


Curve Artistic Director Nikolai Foster explains, “The Curve Community Production is always a season highlight for us, combining the incredibly important work we create with our communities with our work on stage”.


The show runs from Fri 19 Aug – Sun 28 Aug and tickets can be purchased from the Box Office 0116 2423595 or booked online at www.curveonline.co.uk


Twitter: @CurveLeicester

Facebook: CURVEtheatreleicester


RSS Feed twitter