Right now there is no show bigger than ‘Big – The Musical’, a production that is bopping and bouncing and making people feel good, writes Michael Holland.
Big – The Musical shines a light on those times when children want to be grown up and the grown ups all wish they were children once again. Big confirms something that we all know – Men never grow up and will always be big kids.
When little Josh is spurned by the girl of his dreams because she wants an older, more mature boyfriend, every person in the audience related to that situation in their own different way. After he skulks off in a rebuff huff he chances upon a fairground Make-a-Wish machine and desperately goes for a last gasp attempt at being more like the older kid who got the girl. Josh wished he was big.
It worked of course, which meant Josh scared the life out of his mum the next morning when he woke up looking exactly like Strictly Come Dancing winner Jay McGuiness, the singer from Wanted. Fortunately, that impressive CV paid off nicely with all the singing and dancing that had to be done for this role, and McGuiness showed that he was very much up for it.
So, with the magical power of theatre the 13-year-old boy now in a man’s body got himself a job testing toys in a failing factory, giving the owner (Matthew Kelly) the chance to be a big kid again, and the marketing department, in their grey suits, nightmares. But in between checking out the toys this pubescent man-child was checked out by Kimberley Walsh, which they both seemed very happy about. However, while Josh was biding his time, waiting until he could reverse the magic and return home to his family, they fell in love. Oops.
Big, while being a toe-tapping musical in the traditional style, it also has other, more complex layers that add to the experience. This show creates more than just talk about the singing and dancing on the way home, but all the other issues that it encompasses.
They tell me size doesn’t matter but Big is fantastic. Trust me. It is a real crowd-pleaser and McGuiness has truly earnt his star status in this one. There are songs galore and dance routines that cover a wide spectrum, which all goes to making Big a joy to see.
£1 from every ticket sold will be donated to Make-A-Wish® UK
Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7AQ until November 2nd. Times: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm, Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm. Admission: £29.50 – £111.50. Phone: 0845 200 7982
Photos: Credit Alastair Muir