Never work with children or animals goes the old show biz saying. It should add, never review the theatrical work of children or animals. Never review children at least; you don’t find too many non-human performers turning up at auditions anyway, and animals aren’t noted for their acting abilities in general (except Lassie, obviously.)
So all I’ll say about the new production of Bugsy Malone at Leeds Grand is… The kids did good. (Try to read that in your best Chicago mobster, James Cagney accent.)
Everyone has seen the film so there’s no surprises here. The stage production is wonderfully good humoured, whimsical, escapist fun. And custard. A lot of custard.
You don’t go to see Bugsy Malone expecting incisive social commentary or witty political insight. You go to avoid all that, and for a couple of hours get to forget what a mess adults are making of the real world outside the theatre walls.
The plot, such as it is, is gloriously daft. You don’t simply have to suspend your disbelief. You have to clap it in cement shoes, tie its hands behind its back and roughly tumble it off the nearest bridge. Bugsy Malone will make your disbelief sleep with the fishes.
This is most definitely a family friendly, feel good kinda show. It’s on at Leeds Grand Theatre til Sunday. Get your tickets here. It’s an offer you can’t refuse.