(Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 6/10.)
1 Bugsy Malone
Splurge guns at the ready! Sean Holmes’s delicious revival of Alan Parker’s New York gangster musical, which replaces bullets with blancmange and has a cast with an average age of 12, is back in Hammersmith – and boy does it deliver bucketfuls of family fun. It may not be subtle, but it is infectiously joyful throughout; Holmes’s trick is to treat the whole thing with a mixture of complete seriousness and inventive playfulness.
2 The James Plays
Rona Munro’s epic trilogy, which spans the turbulent reigns of James I, II and III of Scotland, was first seen at the Edinburgh international festival in 2014. Now this heady seven-and-a-half-hour mix of puppetry, song, dance and fierce debate ends its UK tour in Nottingham.