IN APRIL 2015, Sir Alan Parker’s world famous stage musical Bugsy Malone, based on his acclaimed film, will re-open the Lyric Hammersmith following a multi-million pound redevelopment.
This will be the UK’s first professional stage production of Bugsy Malone in over a decade. Directed by the Lyric’s Artistic Director Sean Holmes, it will run from April 28 (previews from April 11) to August 1, 2015.
Bugsy Malone is set in Prohibition era New York with rival gangsters Fat Sam and Dandy Dan at logger heads. As custard pies fly and Dan’s destructive ‘splurge guns’ wreak havoc, Bugsy Malone, a penniless ex-boxer and all round nice guy, falls for Blousey Brown, an aspiring singer.
Will Bugsy be able to resist seductive songstress Tallulah, Fat Sam’s moll and Bugsy’s old flame, and stay out of trouble while helping Fat Sam to defend his business?
With words and music by Paul Williams, Bugsy Malone will be choreographed by Drew McOnie and designed by Jon Bausor, with musical direction by Phil Bateman, lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Ben Harrison.
The multi-million pound project to expand the current Lyric Hammersmith building, creating new facilities and improving the building’s environmental sustainability, is one of the largest cultural developments in West London. The building work represents the first major face-lift of the Lyric in 35 years.
Work is currently being completed on the creation of a new two-storey extension called the Reuben Foundation Wing, which will house a wide-range of new facilities including a dance studio, a TV studio, recording studios, screening cinema and a digital play space.
The Lyric Hammersmith Redevelopment Project has been made possible by the generous support of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Arts Council England, the Department of Education, the Mayor of London, the Reuben Foundation and hundreds of other private donations from individuals, companies and trusts.
Jessica Hepburn, Executive Director of the Lyric Hammersmith, said: “I can’t wait for people to come and see what we’ve done to the Lyric. I think they’re going to be amazed. The project has taken years of planning and fundraising and two years of construction work on site, but next year we’re going to unveil something really special. There isn’t going to be another producing theatre in London quite like it and there will be no better place for young people and emerging artists to develop their creative talent. Bugsy Malone is the perfect production to open the Lyric’s new chapter.”
Sean Holmes said: “Bugsy Malone feels like the perfect show with which to open the new Lyric. A work of leftfield genius with young people at its heart, it feels like the quintessential Lyric show: celebratory, inclusive and surprising.”
Sir Alan Parker said: “I’ve always loved that Bugsy Malone is performed so often as a play in schools but, to be honest, I never ever liked the previous professional on-stage versions. In fact, in recent years, I have actively discouraged professional productions. However, meeting a few times with Sean Holmes of the Lyric and listening to his excellent ideas, I decided to give a stage production my blessing. I wish Sean and everyone involved well.”
Sean Holmes most recently directed four shows as part of the Lyric’s two-year programme of Secret Theatre and in 2010, his revival of Sarah Kane’s Blasted received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. His other theatre credits include A Series Of
Increasingly Impossible Acts, Chamber Piece, A Streetcar Named Desire, Woyzeck, Cinderella, Desire Under the Elms, Morning, Have I None, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Saved, A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky, Ghost Stories, Three Sisters and Comedians (Lyric Hammersmith).
Holmes was Associate Director of the Oxford Stage Company from 2001 to 2006 and has worked for the National Theatre and RSC, as well as the Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse, Tricycle Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and Abbey Theatre, Dublin.
Sir Alan Parker was awarded his CBE in 1995, received a knighthood in 2002 and was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for his contribution to the British film industry in 2013. His films have won nineteen BAFTA awards, ten Golden Globes and ten Academy Awards. As well as Bugsy Malone (1976), his credits include Fame (1980), Mississippi Burning (1988), The Commitments (1991), Evita (1996), Angela’s Ashes (1999) and The Life of David Gale (2003).
Tickets: £15 – £35; £40 premium seats. Previews (April 11 to April 27) all seats £15. To book, call the box office on 0208 741 6850 or visit www.lyric.co.uk/ or www.bugsymalonetheshow.co.uk/.
Throughout the redevelopment period the Lyric Hammersmith continues to operate as a vibrant hub of cultural activity for West London, creating and hosting a range of professional productions and projects for audiences and young people. This ‘Transitional Season’ will include productions of Dick Whittington and his Cat, Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, Frantic Assembly’s Othello, Lyric Children’s Season 2014 – 2015 and a return of the Lyric’s acclaimed Secret Theatre.