Dip into Bugsy Malone 1920s this summer

Getting into the 1920s style
Getting into the 1920s style

“I’m bored mum”, a common cry during the school summer holidays, but what about directing your child’s energy into a theatre school?

An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway has just such an opportunity for committed youngsters from Primary 7 age upwards for their musical production ‘Bugsy Malone’.

Bugsy is set in 1929 and is about gangster warfare in New York. Dandy Dan’s hoodlums terrorise the district with their ‘splurge guns’. His rival Fat Sam gang’s weapons are old fashioned custard pies - who will win out of this gooey pandemonium?

Well you will need to take part, or book tickets for the performance to find out.The summer school costs £120 per child and is an intensive two-week experience.

But mum Sheena Mackenzie, whose 11-year old daughter Juliet Rose took part in last year’s summer school production Joseph, endorsed the whole experience, saying: “She had a brilliant time doing Joseph, in fact we are due to move to Edinburgh soon, but Juliet said she needed to do Bugsy first.”

Spearheading Bugsy are director, Dee Jones, musical director Cath Fish, with costumes and makeup co-ordinated by Michaela Smith.

With a 90-minute performance packed with 11 song and dance numbers, a live band on stage, courtesy of local musicians Louis Macleod, Del Gunn, Noel Eadie and Andy Yearley, there is plenty for the young actors to juggle.

Talking of the demands with 60 roles to fill Dee said: “They have to be prepared to learn lines, and for many parts there is a lot of lines, but the kids were incredibly committed last year.”

The curtain goes up at An Lanntair on August 11th and 12th, but you need to sign up for the school by July 16th. Auditions follow - they include a little bit of singing, dancing and acting. But don’t worry about being flung into the spotlight right away, as Michaela Smith sums it up saying: “I’ve been involved in the auditions before and they are completely non-threatening and great fun.”

However you do need commitment, Cath Fish described the work needed to create the show: “In Joseph by the second week they were working so hard, we thought they may start not turning up!”

But with not a lot of musical theatre happening this is a chance for young people, especially those who wish to continue with drama, to work in a proper theatre setting with professional technicians, musicians and teachers.

An Lanntair’s Kathryn Smith, concludes: “We are just delighted to be taking part and see the kids coming in to take part in the school in the summer months.

“This is such an exciting part of an Lanntair’s education programme. Working with the local community and bringing new arts projects and opportunities to young people is an essential part of the work we do at an Lanntair.”

For more information call An Lanntair on 01851 708480.