BIG The Musical – you can’t keep a kid from growing up

Big The Musical is all about how Josh a teenage boy who wants to be big fast with his wish coming true in an unexpected way. I left wishing the opposite in becoming a kid again. I wonder if Zoltar will work for me?

I was invited on a complimentary experience to enjoy the Dominion Theatres latest West End London show BIG and what a joy it is.

Dominion Theatre

Dominion Theatre is situated on Tottenham Court Road in the West End of London and this years is celebrating 9-years. The Dominion Theatre first opened it’s doors in October 1929. Over the decades this beautiful art deco building has been home to film premieres, rock n roll gigs and many musicals.

September 2019 for eight weeks only the Dominion Theatre brings to London yet another fun thrilled musical BIG.

BIG

Michael Rose, Damien Sanders & Paul Gregg from Encore Production Ltd presents A Theatre Royal Plymouth Production based on the motion picture BIG written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg.

BIG is a well known classic smash hit movie which starred Tom Hanks back in 1988.

If you are unaware of the movies story it is about a 12 year old boy called Josh Baskin who would do anything to be big to hang out with his high school crush. At a carnival he finds a Zoltar machine and he wishes to be big. After Zoltar tells him, “his wish is granted”, Josh notices though that the machine is unplugged. The next morning he wakes up but in an adult’s body but he still has the same personality. With the help of his best friend, Billy, Josh learns how to act like a grown up. But as he gets an adult girlfriend and a fun job in a toy company. Now Josh questions himself does he want to be trapped in an adult body in a grown up world?

This musical version of the much-loved 1988 American comedy film initially opened on Broadway in 1996, where it picked up five Tony nominations. Now, twenty-three years on, it has finally reached the West End Dominion Theatre, produced by Michael Rose and directed by Morgan Young.

BIG relive your childhood memories

Upon entering the Dominion Theatre reception area you could see all theatre goers were buzzing with the thought of watching one of their most loved childhood classics relived out on a theatre stage.

First things first though I just had to get a quick snap with a backdrop advertising about BIG.

Eye up the merchandise.

Plus time for some fun with Zoltar. Yes I am now a kid again with a pony tail.

Upon entering the theatre area of the Dominion Theatre immediately the stage draws my eyes to a large 3D image of Jay McGuiness looking very innocent and child like resting on the word BIG. Feeling now even more excited about the whole production and it made me also start to think what it would be like to be a kid again.

Act One
Scene One – Josh & Billy’s Houses
Scene One – A Carnival
Scene Two – Baskin’s House
Scene Three – Way to School
Scene Four – New York Port Authority Bus Station
Scene Five – New York City Toy Story
Scene Six – McMillian Toy’s Offices
Scene Seven – Exterior / Interior Josh’s Apartment
Scene Eight – Restaurant

Act Two
Scene One – Josh & Billy’s Houses
Scene Two – Susan’s Office
Scene Three – McMillian Toys Offices
Scene Four – Yuppie Apartment
Scene Five – Roof Terrace
Scene Six – Limbo / Old Neighbourhood
Scene Seven – Boardwalk
Scene Eight – Old Neighbourhood
Finale

Photo credit: press image

The musical BIG was a delight and delivered with so many magical scenes. The opening scene is of Josh’s bedroom with his bedroom wall covered with 80’s classic movies of the Goonies and E.T. making me think about past posters I used to have don my walls. Plus within this scene you could see his mum pottering about doing normal household chores within the kitchen.

Photo credit: press image

The set changed regularly via a revolving stage from the neighbourhood streets to the McMillian Toy Office with an array of song, dance and a tale be had all the time.

Photo credit: press image
Photo credit: press image

For me the scenes that took my heart was the beautiful moments within adult Josh department when he bought back Susan. I loved the kiddie quirkiness between adult Josh (Jay McGuiness) and Susan (Kimberley Walsh) and the night time city view with stars dawning Dominion Theatre with a shooting star ending the scene perfectly making me having my own wish. Who needs Zoltar.

Photo credit: press image

The other scene I loved was Act One Scene Five set within the New York City Toy Store which Josh and George meet and play Chopsticks on the large piano. However the timing is a bit out as with it being a hit and miss by both Jay McGuiness and Matthew Kelly and Matthew being a little stiff but nerveless it was still magical taking me back thinking about the classic scene played out in the movie by Tom Hanks which always melted my heart and made me laugh.

The scene I did not enjoy and felt was flat was the dinner party scene which Susan introduces Josh to her yuppie friends.

A star performance

All the actors and actresses made this show a joy.

Harrison Dadswell plays the role of young Josh and Jobe Hart plays the role of Billy who both were great. They each held the stage well each time.

Jobe in particular is a very multi-talented young actor from his acting, singing to dancing and bringing to the stage each time so much passion and energy to his character. I can certainly can see him making it big in the West End.

Jay McGuiness former vocalist from the boy band The Wanted plays adult Josh. His boyish good looks and charm keep the audience aware that he is playing a teen trapped in a man’s body.

Wendi Peter‘s former Coronation Street character (Mrs Battersby) plays Mrs Baskin. She makes the audience feel for her with the worry of her son being missing.

Matthew Kelly played George McMillan who is the owner of the toy factory McMillan set the scene as an ageing boss who is struggling keeping his business afloat. It is clear that George just like in the movie has little idea of what kids want these days and is unaware of what what is going on around him. However Billy obviously soon changes all this and starts to get George business back on track as remember Josh is a kid living in an adults body after all.

Kimberley Walsh former Girls Aloud vocalist plays Susan Lawrence. She brings to the stage office glamour and lovely moving scenes between her and adult Josh making you not wanting Josh to turn back into a kid as there love blossoms more and more throughout story.

Plus everyone else through from the actors to actresses to the behind the scenes production from the Producers, Michael Rose & Damien Sanders, Director & Choreographers Morgan Young, Production Designers Simon Higlett, Musical Director Jeremy Wootton & David Shire and Lyrics by Richard Maltby all bought to stage an impressive show which collided perfectly.

Meeting the cast

After such a joyful night I headed on back to the stage door and got snapped with Jay McGuiness, Matthew Kelley and Kimberley Walsh who all were a delight to meet.

Verdict

BIG was a thrill from start to finish but there is a lesson to be learned be careful what you wish for?

I came away thinking about my best childhood moments and first high school crush leaving me full of energy and joy.

BIG is certainly a great feel good family musical don’t let it pass you by.

Book

BIG will be running at Dominion Theatre till 2 November 2019.

Dominion Theatre
268-269 Tottenham Court Road
Fitzrovia
London
W1T 7AQ

Tickets start from £30.

Click here to book.

Thank you to Dominion Theatre for the invite. All views are of my own honest opinion.

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