Josh Baskin is twelve and life sucks, until one night at a carnival his wish to be big is granted. Now, trapped in an adult body in a grown-up world, he’s asking: is being big all it’s cracked up to be? Based on the smash-hit movie.
The latest musical to hit the Westend hoping to play high on the nostalgia factor is Big the Musical, based on the famous Tom Hanks movie, but sadly it doesn’t really hit the mark. The score is largely forgettable, the cast are talented but the story is bland and surprisingly out of touch for the modern age (do we just overlook the 12-year-old tricking an adult into bed storyline?). However the real shame here is the total lack of energy. For a show set about childhood that’s largely set in a toy shop, it’s surprisingly lacking in fun.
Jay McGuiness is being heavily pushed as the main reason to see this show and his singing and general performance is a highlight, but his youthful looks mean the show is missing out on one of it’s biggest comedy points. What’s so funny about a 12-year-old in an adult body if he could possibly pass as a teen anyway? Fellow performer Mathiew Kellie adds some of the shows more memorable moments of physical comedy.
The famous dancing piano scene isn’t quite synched to the performers so as the keys light up the actors are not in quite the right place which is distracting, especially during such a classic moment. It also drags on and is in danger of becoming very dull before the band kick in and give it some much-needed gusto.
The show lacks drama and while it’s pleasant enough at times it never becomes anything more and in the end, it is sadly forgettable. Catch Big the Musical at the Dominian Theatre until the 2nd of November 2019, tickets start from £29.50 and can be booked from the London Boxoffice website.
Tickets were complimentary in exchange for review