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Friday, 20 September 2019

REVIEW: Big at the Dominion Theatre

Based on the 1988 film with Tom Hanks, 12-year-old Josh Baskin (Jamie O’Connor) decides to makes a wish to be ‘big’ on an old Zoltar machine after being humiliated at the carnival. The next morning, he wakes up a fully-grown man (Jay McGuiness) much to the horror of his mother (Wendi Peters) who thinks she’s being robbed. Josh, with the help of his best friend Billy (Jobe Hart), moves to New York and is given a top job in a toy shop by (mildly creepy) business tycoon McMilan (Matthew Kelly). There he meets the serious Marketing Manager, Susan Lawrence (Kimberley Walsh), who swiftly falls for him- unaware of his real age, of course.

Overall, the production is bright, exciting and bursting with youthful energy. However, there are many flaws that cannot be dismissed. The problem with musical adaptations of films is there is little room for originality and any kind of individual flare. The biggest let down of the show was the music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby. With 27 musical numbers, you would hope that at least one of them would be slightly memorable- this was not the case. The opening song made no impact; it was not catchy or clever and this set the scene for several hours of songs that could have been cut. It all becomes quite monotonous in the first act and made me question whether it would have been better as a play. Even the cast seemed deflated when singing several of them.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Full Cast Announced for BIG at Dominion Theatre

Joining the previously announced Jay McGuiness, Wendi Peters, Kimberley Walsh and Matthew Kelly as Josh Baskin, Mrs Baskin, Susan Lawrence and George MacMillan respectively in BIG The Musical, will be Lori Haley Fox as Mrs Kopecki/Miss Watson and Edward Handoll as Paul Seymour, with Harrison Dadswell, Jamie O’Connor and Jake Simon sharing the role of Young Josh and Jobe Hart, Austen Phelan and Theo Wilkinson sharing the role of Billy. 

Also in the cast will be Charlie Bull, Colin Burnicle, Christie-Lee Crosson, Vicki Davids, Alex Fobbester, Leanne Garretty, Stuart Hickey, Matt Holland, Tash Holway, Ross McLaren, Richard Murphy, Eddie Myles, Katharine Pearson, Anton Fosh, Gemma Fuller, Gary Murphy and Katy Osborne. There will be two teams of children in the musical, made up from Olufemi Alaka, Coco Cousin-Brown, Asher Ezeguiel, Ellis Griffiths, Imogen Law Hing Choy, Noah Leggott, Amaya Lucas, Cassia McCarthy, Ophelia Parsons, Bailey Razdan, Lucinda Wicks and Chanel Zinyemba.

Based on the smash-hit movie starring Tom Hanks, BIG The Musical makes its West End premiere at the Dominion Theatre for a strictly limited nine-week season from 6 September to 2 November 2019, with a Gala Night in aid of Make-A-Wish on Tuesday 17 September.
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