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Welcome to Fat Sam's Grand Slam!

Published on 11/12/18

Ms Barrell gives the inside scoop on the Stephen Perse production of Bugsy Malone.

Read all about it! Ms Barrell tells all about this terms production of Bugsy Malone:

'Our biennial musical took place in November. Bugsy Malone was a mammoth all-singing, all-dancing, all splurging, party-popper-tastic project involving a cast of 43 students from Years 10-13. The cast showed phenomenal commitment and worked so hard to make this production a success and I was delighted with the end result - I still can’t quite believe that we succeeded in putting it all together with only seven and a half weeks’ rehearsal!

One of the things I love most about our students is that they are so willing to step out of their comfort zone and learn new skills - tap dancing, firing a splurge gun, speaking in New York ‘Italian gangster’ accent and slapstick comedy to name but a few. Almost everyone in the cast played more than one role - one of the great things about this show is that there are so many wonderful cameo roles, all of whom have their moment. Looney Bergonzi, Pickett, Lena and Oscar, the audition candidates at the Bijou Royale - it was so lovely to see each of our ensemble cast members step up to play their individual roles with enormous character and humour.

Setting the play in Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy, ‘the liveliest joint in town’, added a new dimension to the show. Some lucky audience members sat at tables in the speakeasy enjoying pre-show refreshments whilst the action happened around them - they were perhaps not so lucky when the speakeasy was raided by Dandy Dan’s dastardly gang and they got caught in the cross-fire! 

Check out the showreel here (courtesy of Deborah Foote). 

 

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Assembling the set, props and costumes for a show is always enormous fun and Bugsy Malone provided some excellent opportunities for creativity. Ebay is one of our favourite shops - many of the glamorous outfits worn by Fat Sam’s Grand Slam dancers and Blousey’s gorgeous dress were sourced here at bargain prices and we were able to give them that 1920s feel by adding a bit of fringing here and there. And the fortuitous purchase of a big job lot of double breasted jackets, again on Ebay, provided the basis for the gangster costumes. In Drama Backstage enrichment sessions we designed and assembled the comedy cars, art deco bar and painted signs to denote different locations and stitched sequined, feathered headbands for the dancers.

Our fabulous live band, dressed in costume, provided the wonderful soundtrack to the songs and dances expertly choreographed by Karen Revill from The Maple Dance Academy. Having an older cast allowed us to be quite ambitious with some of the routines and we performed extended versions of Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, I’m Feeling Fine and So You Wanna Be a Boxer.

Whilst Bugsy Malone was very much the ensemble piece and all of the performers made a huge contribution to the final performance, I do need to make special mention of Charlotte S. and Emi R. who played Fat Sam and Dandy Dan, our top-dog gangsters, with enormous character and villainous charm, Maddy A. who played the part of Blousey with sophisticated elegance, and Mary S. whose perfect New York accent and confident swagger brought the title role of Bugsy Malone alive.'

Check out the photos here


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