"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Ingatestone Young Expressions at the Community Centre.
Bugsy Malone's world of pint-sized hoodlums and their molls took over the Community Hall for Young Expressions' latest show, a swan-song for Music Director Cathy Edkins and Directors Liz Gibson and Allen Clark.
The wide stage was made wider still by the Book Emporium and the office; a grim Big Apple backdrop was drawn aside to reveal the illicit delights of Fat Sam's.
The pit band, in black homburgs, produced impressively sleazy speakeasy sounds.
Polished performances from Harry Kemp, proudly padded as Fat Sam, and Ralph Stevens, promising as his arch rival Dandy Dan. The charming chancer Bugsy was very confidently portrayed by Alec Stevens; I particularly admired the way he delivered the motivational Down and Out. His Blousey was sweetly sung by Rebecca Craythorne, and the sultry Tallulah was gamely played by Ella Harget-Dash. Fizzy, dreaming of stardom, was Suzy Jennings.
Stylish staging of the production numbers – My Name is Tallulah, the Bad Guys' Song – and plenty of clever touches: the hat routine, the synchronised hit-men, with the stiffs sack-barrowed off to Rota's Godfather theme from Asgeir Faben's bass, the Pink Panther from Rebecca Durose's sax for Smolsky and O'Dreary [Todd Brand and Peter Angel].
With thirty different scenes, it was sometimes hard to maintain the punch and the pace, but it was all great fun, and the shoot-out and the finale were excellently choreographed.