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Bugsy Malone the new year musical extravaganza

The first ever touring production of the smash-hit musical Bugsy Malone is coming to Wales Millennium Centre in January 2023.

This universally acclaimed, sell-out production of the world-famous musical is based on the hit 1976 movie by multiple Oscar®-winning British director Alan Parker. Packed with instantly recognisable songs by Oscar®-winner Paul Williams including My Name is Tallulah, You Give A Little Love and Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, Bugsy Malone is a masterclass of musical comedy with one of the most joyously uplifting finales in musical theatre.

The lead roles in the show will be played by three talented young casts of seven in rotation, aged between 9 and 15, while the ensemble includes adult performers.

The premise of Bugsy Malone might sound a little mad: a bunch of rival New York gangsters in the Prohibition era, Tommy guns in hand, wisecracking, breaking into song and being saved by a washed-up boxer called Bugsy… and all played by children. However, this unlikely scenario became one of the most infectious, enduring films of all time with a soundtrack full of singalong songs.

Bugsy Malone is a show that seems to predict stardom. The original film starred a very young Jodie Foster, the first West End production had a teenaged Catherine Zeta Jones and Sheridan Smith was just 16 when she appeared in the show in 1997.

The production’s director Sean Holmes says “There’s something in the DNA of Bugsy Malone that has lasted. The story is great, the songs are great, but most of all it’s a vehicle for the potential of young people. It’s a blast of hope and possibility.”

Olivier award-winning Holmes first directed the show in 2015 when he was artistic director of London’s Lyric Hammersmith. It was so successful that it was revived the following year, and it’s now on a huge tour covering every corner of the country.

According to Holmes, that old showbiz rule about never working with children could not be further from the truth. Rehearsing with the three rotating casts with the associate director Franny-Anne Rafferty has reminded him how extraordinarily talented young people can be.

“As an audience, even if it’s subconscious, we know if a kid has been drilled within an inch of their life to deliver a performance that is set in stone. But you also know when you’re seeing a 12-year-old who feels like they own the show, who makes you go ‘oh my god’. Whenever I do a show, what I want is collective ownership, the feeling of ‘let’s make this together’. Rather than just telling the children ‘Stand there and say it like that’, I want to make everyone be able to realise their creativity. The show gives them a huge chance to shine.”

17 - 21 Jan 2022

Wales Millennium Centre

Cardiff Bay

029 2063 6464


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