A Short History of Bugsy Malone

Bugsy Malone is a musical gangster comedy film, released in 1976, and written and directed by Alan Parker. It’s unusual in that it features only child actors in essentially adult roles, with early appearances from Jodie Foster (who’d been acting since she was 3) and Scott Baio. The film tells the story of the rise of “Bugsy Malone” and the battle for power between “Fat Sam” and “Dandy Dan”.

Parker said, of his movie idea: “I had four young children and we used to go to a cottage in Derbyshire at weekends. On the long, boring car journey up there, I started telling them the story of a gangster called Bugsy Malone. They’d ask me questions and I’d make up answers, based on my memories of watching old movie reruns as a kid.” His eldest son suggested children should be cast as the “heroes”.

Set in New York City, it is a gangster movie spoof, substituting “Splurge” guns and whipped cream for machine guns and bullets. The story is loosely based on events in New York and Chicago during Prohibition era, specifically the exploits of real-life gangsters such as Al Capone and Bugs Moran. Parker lightened the subject matter considerably for the children’s market and the film received a G rating in the U.S. It went on to be exulted by critics and nominated for multiple BAFTAs and Golden Globes.

It’s always interesting to see what happened to the cast, especially when it’s made up of younger actors. Jodie Foster, of course, went on to great things and is still acting and directing today. Here’s an article about the others.

Don’t miss our own production of Bugsy Malone.

VENUE:  The Turner Centre

DATES:  24th – 28th October

Click here for more information and ticket sales.


Rollin’ out for Bugsy

It’s glitzy. It’s glamorous. It’s downtown 1920’s New York. Well, somewhere in Kerikeri really!

Bringing some authenticity to the time and feel of the upcoming musical Bugsy Malone at the Turner Centre next month, a young-at-heart Brian Atchison lent his Model T Ford to some of the cast for a photo shoot to help promote the show.

Genevieve is a classic ‘Tin Lizzie’ Model T Ford of the era, sporting two front seats and a ‘mother-in-law’s’ rear seat. Built in 1913 but with a 1918 motor, her previous owner was Peter O’Dell of the now closed Kerikeri Museum.

“I never thought I’d own one,” says Brian. “Dad was building one years ago and I thought I would get it, but with three brothers, it didn’t happen.”

Catch up a few decades and a visit to the car museum with his grandson Chris, who, on arriving home, promptly told ‘Nana’ that “Poppa’s got to have the old car we saw!”

Brian says he bought Genevieve before the Museum closing auction started.

“She did the Parliamentary Run in 2007 – and I believe she was the last car to cross the Stone Store bridge before it was closed for ever,” he says.

The fun-filled Bugsy Malone musical, with its big cast of 55 talented youngsters, is presented by the Kerikeri Theatre Company Youth Theatre at the Turner Centre next month.

Show dates are October 24, 25, 27, 28

Tickets: $28 adults and $15 students available from the Turner Centre Kerikeri.

Media contact: Barbara Kirkman 021 870296

Bugsy genevieve 1Bugsy genevieve 2

The Big ‘Bugsy Malone’ Build-up

Replace the machine guns and bullets with toy guns, custard pies and whipped cream, add a great script and a brilliant score, and hordes of talented youngsters, and you’ve got the rollicking musical gangster comedy Bugsy Malone

Bugsy Northland Age

Tickets ON SALE NOW at The Turner Centre, Kerikeri


WEDNESDAY 24th OCT at 7 p.m.

THURSDAY 25th OCT at 7 p.m.

SATURDAY 27th OCT at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m

SUNDAY 28th OCT at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

TICKETS priced from $15 for Students to $28 for Adults