(Dominic Cavendish's article appeared in the Telegraph, 4/29.)

No beating about Shepherd’s Bush, this Hammersmith Bugsy Malone is a blast – a triumphant return for the stage version of Alan Parker’s adored 1976 film-musical, which braved ridicule and broke the mould by planting children in the roles of Prohibition-era mobsters, their molls and those caught in the “splurge-gun” cross-fire – conjuring a world in which life’s as throwaway as a lollipop.

Reopening the renovated theatre, director Sean Holmes could have ended up with egg (or should that be custard-pie, the other weapon of choice here?) all over his face.

The mind boggles at the logistical challenges involved in bringing a 35-strong company, aged nine to 22 (with the leads, in general the youngest, performing in repertoire), to the peak of razzmatazz perfection


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