Big The Musical, Dominion Theatre | Review

Big the Musical
12/10/19
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed by Mia Goddard
★★★
Young Josh Baskin is on the cusp of being a teenager, but still isn’t tall enough to get on the fairground ride that will get him a date with the girl of his dreams.  When he comes across the fortune teller machine Zoltar, he asks to be ‘big’ and, overnight, his wish is granted, he’s now a young man and no one believes his story. Jay McGuinness takes the lead and stumbles into a world of adulthood.

Big The Musical has some very impressive dance routines, choreographed by director Morgan Young, and fans of the original movie need not be disappointed, that instantly recognisable scene with the giant foot operated piano has made it in to the stage version too!  The revolving set with animated backgrounds makes for seamless transitions, and there’s a little stage magic involved too.

Grown up (’big’) Josh is played by former boyband vocalist and Strictly winner, Jay McGuiness who is an instant triple threat who shows an strong affinity for performing. His childlike naivety as Josh is utterly charming, and in the conversations between Josh and Billy, it feels like natural interactions between two thirteen-year-olds. Josh’s adult love interest, Susan is played by former Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh, who demonstrated not only fantastic vocal abilities, but a real presence on the stage.

That is balanced out by the ensemble, who put heart and soul into each number. ‘Cross The Line’ and ‘Coffee Black’ are rousing group numbers, and McGuiness and Walsh really get to show off their ballroom skills.

The problem with the show is that the music is, overall, quite bland, and it becomes tricky to distinguish one song from another. The material begins to really stretch in Act Two, with a dinner party sequence proving itself almost pointless, it could be removed from the show and not affect the structure or story. However, overall the show is perfect for a family theatre trip and shows incredible potential.

A great way to spend the afternoon.