Prohibition came to St Andrew's in the form of a nostalgic and exuberant production of the Alan Parker musical, Bugsy Malone.
More than 70 students and staff took part in what proved to be a rip-roaring, slap-stick and very messy trip back to 1920s’ New York for five sell-out performances last week (13-18 March).
A glimpse of what lay ahead came during the first scene, set in the school library, with audiences ushered in groups to witness the first meeting between Bugsy Malone and Blousey.
From there they were given tickets to spend the evening in the school hall, which had been spectacularly transformed into Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy. The school orchestra caught the cabaret atmosphere perfectly with the show’s signature jazz theme, and accompanied talented soloists singing popular songs from that era.
The audience, many of whom had entered the spirit of the occasion by dressing up in ‘20s costumes, were shown to their seats by Chorus members dressed as waiting staff who took their orders for and served a variety of mocktails and nibbles to enjoy throughout the performance.
Once everyone was settled the gangster caper got into full swing as the students swaggered, tripped and danced their way through Fat Sam’s turf war with Dandy Dan. They played mobsters and molls, dim-witted henchmen, speakeasy performers, showgirls, boxers, bungling police, laundry workers and cleaners with confidence, style and fun and with convincing New York accents. Their exceptional slapstick timing drew roars of laughter from an appreciative audience who enjoyed the one-liners and pie-throwing. Particularly popular, were the bungling police, Captain Smolsky and O’Dreary.
The students also managed the contrast between the high-octane scenes and some of the more tender and poignant moments between the lead characters (played by different students over the week), Tallulah the Show Girl, and a song and dance scene involving cleaner, but wanna-be performer, Fizzy, and flapper girl, Tillie, with aplomb.
Credit must go to the crew, led by Head of Performing Arts, Mr Lasithiotakis, and Director, Mr Callender, who worked tirelessly to support the production with props, makeup, hair and costumes, musical direction, creative vision, choreography, sets, admin and, of course, the splurge guns and Fat Sam’s Pedal Car, designed by the DT department.
The well-executed dance routines enabled students to make use of the whole hall to ensure that the whole audience was very much part of the action and any initial thoughts about avoiding the inevitable splurge were soon dispelled when it came to the grande finale. The relish and enthusiasm with which families and friends joined in the fun, splattering and spraying foam at each other was a delight and all left covered in froth and streamers, grinning from ear-to-ear from an evening which will be hard to forget.Photo: (L-R) Alex Cyrile-King (Fizzy), Nicole Wilson (Blousey), Costa Maruszczyk (Bugsy Malone), Liam Togher (Fat Sam), Jenai Mabrouk-Patroklou (Tallulah) and Michael Stavrou (Dandy Dan) Credit: C.Lasithiotaki