A spectacular production of a legendary musical proved to be a 'splurgetastic' success at St. Mary’s College recently.
Families and friends packed the school’s O’Halloran Hall to the rafters for the three-night run of Bugsy Malone, originally made famous by the 1976 film musical directed by Alan Parker.
A large cast of more than 40 pupils succeeded in transforming the normally studious atmosphere of St. Mary’s into 1920s Prohibition era Chicago as they presented the comic story of gangsters and their molls.
The plot, which involves the manufacture of a brand of killer custard used in so-called splurge guns, features a host of colourful characters including gangster rivals Fat Sam and Dandy Dan, as well as the eponymous hero Bugsy and his love interest Blousey Brown.
Despite its tongue-in-cheek approach, Bugsy Malone regularly punches above its weight in musical league tables. In a Channel 4 poll it was voted 19th on a list of the 100 greatest musicals, above The King and I, Cats and Phantom of the Opera.
In the St. Mary’s production Joe Houghton played the lead role of Bugsy Malone with Tilly Doyle as shy but ambitious Blousey Brown.
Other leading parts were played by Luis Hewitt (Fat Sam), Niall Martindale (Dandy Dan), Georgina Duncan (Tallulah), Joshua Nayagam (Fizzy and Cagey Joe), Xavier Cottrell-Boyce (Captain Smolsky), Dara Merriman (O’Dreary), and Tom Davis (Leroy Smith).
And there was a special credit in the programme for the St. Mary’s Year 10 design and technology students who - assisted by Head of DT Mr Ireland - created the very effective splurge guns!
Bugsy Malone was directed by Head of English Mr Ravenscroft and produced by English Teacher Miss Smith, with choreography by Mrs Townsley (Head of Girls’ PE) and musical direction by Mr Byers (Director of Music).
The production continued the St. Mary’s tradition of presenting a major musical every couple of years, following on from previous successes including Oliver, Grease and West Side Story.
Principal Mr Kennedy commented: “Productions like this only come together because of a huge amount of hard work and commitment from the talented cast, musicians and backstage crew.
“The result in this case was a well acted, well sung and very funny show that deservedly brought the house down at the end of each performance.
“The energy and enjoyment of the performers was visible for everyone to see, and it’s certainly a production that everyone at St. Mary’s will remember for a very long time,” added Mr Kennedy.