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Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith (Photo: David Ellis)

Bugsy Malone at the Lyric Hammersmith (Photo: David Ellis)

Matilda’s Olivier winner leads Bugsy

Published 16 February 2015

Eleanor Worthington Cox, a former Matilda The Musical star and the youngest ever recipient of an Olivier Award, is one of a talented line-up of child performers bringing the raucous Bugsy Malone back to the stage this April.

In keeping with the famously youthful cast in Alan Parker’s 1976 film adaptation of his cult prohibition tale, the Lyric Hammersmith will rotate three casts aged between nine and 19-years-old for this first major stage production of the musical in more than a decade.

Worthington Cox, who at the age of just 10-years-old broke Olivier Awards records to share the 2012 Best Actress in a Musical Olivier Award with three fellow talented Matildas, returns to the stage following 2013’s To Kill A Mockingbird at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

She will share the starring role of Blousey Brown in rotation with newcomer Thea Lamb and Zoe Brough, who can currently be seen in the West End transfer of Royal Court hit The Nether.

The title role of Bugsy Malone will similarly be shared by two youngsters familiar with the London stage and one newcomer. Michael Matias will follow his role in The Bodyguard and Sasha Gray in the Young Vic’s Public Enemy to star as the smooth ex-boxer, alongside London debutant Daniel Purves.

The rest of the cast boasts equally impressive weighty credits for such young actors. Samantha Allison (Tallulah), Ashton Henry Reid (Fizzy) and Tahj Miles (Dandy Dan) have all appeared in Matilda The Musical, while Sophia Decaro (Tallulah)boasts West End appearances in The Wizard Of Oz and Oliver! and Jenson Steele (Fat Sam) was one of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’s original Augustas Gloops.

Speaking about the search for the perfect group of energetic youngsters to play the line-up of bad boy gangsters and speakeasy entertainers, director Sean Holmes described the process as “long and exhaustive”.

Offering a sneaky glimpse into what audiences can expect from the much-anticipated production, Holmes’ hinted that Bugsy Malone fans can rest easy that the production will stay true to its original custard, splurge gun spirit, confirming: “The production will deliver everything you would want and expect from a stage version of Alan Parker’s seminal film – whilst promising unexpected surprises and delights. We are about to start rehearsals and can’t wait for the splurge to begin.”

The casting announcement also hinted there might be some twists in store, however, describing the production as celebrating “the spirit of contemporary London”, which could possible allude to a diversion from the film’s American 1920s-setting.

Bugsy Malone, which will officially reopen the Lyric Hammersmith following its multi-million pound re-development, will begin its run from 11 April. For more full details, including the complete cast, visit the Lyric Hammersmith website.

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