Theatre Review: Big the Musical - Dominion Theatre ✭✭✭

Big the Musical 

Dominion Theatre

Review by Kylie Clark

17th September 2019: Having originally aired on broadway in 1996, it's taken over 20 years for Big the musical to make its way to the West End. Based on the 1988 movie starring Tom Hanks, the musical closely mirrors the original.

Jay McGuiness brings a youthful innocence to the role of Josh Baskin, when he is magically fast tracked to adulthood. McGuiness' twinkle toes honed on the strictly dance floor serve him well on the stage, although even his natural ability could not improve an awkward encounter with toy company owner (Matthew Kelly) and an on-floor piano. A nod to the film, but the out of time toe tapping is all a bit cringeworthy.

Once firmly installed in employment at the toy company McGuiness' character does not waste time falling in love with the VP of Marketing, Susan Lawrence (Kimberley Walsh).

Walsh, of Girls Aloud fame doesn't struggle to achieve on stage chemistry with the baby faced McGuiness, and she can hold a number. But her character feels out of place in 2019 and would fall well short of passing the Bechdel test, with all of her on stage moments dedicated to the men in her life.

Some noteable performances from Josh's best friend, Billy (played by Jobe Hart) who more than holds his own on stage. And Wendi Peters of Coronation Street fame gives a strong comedic performance as Josh's mother.

The set relies on a revolving stage, depicting different skylines, perhaps a little basic, but it did the job quite nicely.

Crucially some 20 years on you still struggle with the concept of a 30-something woman falling in love with a 13 year old boy, albeit a boy with the body of a man. But storyline flaws aside this is an upbeat ensemble with enough slick dance moves to keep you entertained, if lacking in a strong ditty that will having you singing down Oxford Street on your journey home.

Three stars ✭✭✭



10 September – 2 November 2019

Dominion Theatre
268-269 Tottenham Court Road

Box Office 0845 200 7982

Tickets from £29.50 (£1 from every ticket sold will be donated to Make-A-Wish® UK)

PerformancesMonday to Saturday 7.30pm*, Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm**(*7pm on 17 September; **extra 2.30pm matinees on Tuesday 22 and 29 October)



Photos by Alastair Muir