Monday, 23 April 2012

Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy

A couple of weeks back Liz (Me And My Shadow) tweeted the following YouTube clip understandably excited that she had tickets to attend, it's an interactive cinema experience based on Bugsy Malone

I was green with envy, I fell in love with the movie as a child and revisit it whenever I spy it's getting an airing on TV and tweeted her expressing as much.  In a wonderful twist of fate she drew my attention to a competition to win family tickets to a matinee performance on another blog (Childcare Is Fun) and as luck would have it yours truly was the eventual winner!

Well Sunday was the big day and Mr Right, Buster and I got our best 1920s bib and tucker on and headed down to the big smoke (despite the odd looks we were drawing from Tube passengers and London Marathon spectators alike), we'd been told to meet the boss under the bridge, Caroline Street, E1 (the East End home of the beautiful art deco Troxy Theatre) where a back street had been transported almost a century into the past and there were characters from that era milling about interacting with the queuing punters.
There's one on the roof!
Buster was press-ganged (quite literally!) into helping the news stand boy sell his papers
Read all about it!
And a fight broke out among the members of rival hoodlum gangs
Put 'em up!
After all this excitement we still had the performance inside to enjoy and we were ushered into the building via a network of corridors which lead to a bookcase behind which soft music was emanating.  We each handed over a book (your ticket into the speakeasy) and made our way through the now open bookcase...
Buster going through the bookcase
...into the massive auditorium beyond.

There was a band playing on stage and tables with lamps aglow just like the movie, you could order food from Mama Liguini's, have a shake and some popcorn from the Milk Bar, try your luck with the roulette wheel, visit Slugger's Gym or audition for Fat Sam, we chose to grab a cocktail from the bar 
Me enjoying my Tallulah Twist
meanwhile the actors and dancers were mingling with everyone at their tables, Bugsy came and sat at ours and was chatting away to Buster about the caper they'd arranged for later, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
There were energetic reenactments of some of the scenes and songs from the film, Mr Right had to perform the 'kiss' of life on one of the characters during one such skit 
Mr Right, the hero
Then it came time for a viewing of a Harold Lloyd black and white silent short (with real piano accompaniment like in the good old days) and the actual movie, which was magical as a couple of times I really felt like I was part of the film and as if I wasn't immersed into it enough by then I was certainly about to be with what happened next...
Splurge gun fight!
I can't recommend this event enough, although we won tickets the cover prices represent amazing value for money for the four hours plus of entertainment we enjoyed, the actors were in character the whole time and were wonderfully accommodating, patient posing for pictures and great at getting the kids involved.
Buster and I post Splurge gun fight, I think Buster's sad
that he has to give up a life of crime now he's taken a direct hit
Sadly the show (presented by Future Cinema) is in the last week of its run but there may still be tickets available and if there are I urge you to get yourself down to Fat Sam's Grand Slam Speakeasy before they all go straight!


  1. Brilliant!
    Really enjoyed that post.
    My #1 was fat sam in his school play last year - I was SO excited!
    Bugsy is in my top 5 films of all time.
    fee x

    1. How wonderful to put on Bugsy for a school play, all we did was Shakespeare and the nativity YAWN!

      I LOVE Bugsy, so glad you do too. x

  2. See, that's what happens when you arrive somewhere on time!! We missed a lot of the stuff going on outside because we were late, and boy did you get a great table!

    I'm certain that these matinees will have inspired a generation of actors. Who wouldn't want to be involved in theatre like that?!

    1. We heeded everyone's advice and got there early and bagged a table right at the front, shame you missed most of the interactive stuff outside as it was muchos fun, they really threw themselves into it.

      Thanks again for bringing this to my attention in the first instance, we had a great time. x

  3. My friend went to see this too - sounds like such fun! Bugsy Malone was one of the first plays I ever saw - the secondary school where my dad taught did it years ago when I was in primary. I remember fancying the boy who played Fizzy!

    1. It was superb honey although I went solely to appreciate the art NOT to eye up the men!! ;)


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