Show History



Bugsy Malone is based on the 1976 Alan Parker film of the same name. Parker's movie is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the gangster films of the 1920s. Parker had the idea for a gangster film that starred an all-child cast in 1973, but his idea was met with very little enthusiasm. Eventually, he was able to raise enough money to develop the project. He commissioned the legendary Paul Williams to compose the score and they auditioned over 10,000 children. The film starred Scott Baio as Bugsy and Jodie Foster as Tallulah. In an era when movie musicals were considered a thing of the past, Bugsy Malone was a surprise hit. Following the film's success, Parker was deluged with requests to develop a stage version.


The first incarnation of the show premiered in the West End at Her Majesty's Theatre. The production opened May 23, 1983, and ran for 300 performances. The cast featured children, but had adults provide the vocals offstage. In 1997, the National Youth Music Theatre production featured an all-youth version. It premiered at the Queens Theatre on November 21, 1997, and featured a cast of forty, led by Sheridan Smith.


  • A young Catherine Zeta-Jones appeared as Tallulah in the West End production of Bugsy Malone.
  • Instead of bullets, the gun-toting gangsters in Bugsy Malone wield "splurge guns" that shoot custard pie foam.
  • The director of the original production of Bugsy Malone in London was Michael Dolenz, better known as Mickey on the television show, "The Monkees."

  • When the original production of Bugsy Malone was done in London, the producers auditioned over 13,000 children between the ages of nine and sixteen.