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Review: BIG: The Musical, at Dominion Theatre

Kimberly Walsh steals the show in adaptation of 1980s Tom Hanks film

26 September, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Jay McGuiness as Josh Baskin and Kimberley Walsh as Susan Lawrence in BIG The Musical. Photo: Alastair Muir

YOU may think of Big as the 1980s Tom Hanks film in which the adult world learns lessons about never letting go of the imagination you had as a child.

Others see it as it a message to impatient teens that there’s no need to rush growing up.

It is, however, a story not of a generation-jumping boy’s predicament, but of a woman who discovers even the most charming of men are lying to you about who they really are. Isn’t it?

It’s appropriate then that the real star of this musical adaptation is not Jay McGuiness as Josh Baskin, the boy who wishes himself big on an old arcade amusement only for it to actually happen, but Kimberly Walsh as Susan, the toy company director who drops the shoulder pads as she becomes increasingly seduced by his innocence. Increasingly seduced by a 13-year-old boy that is. Eugh, skate on.

While McGuiness, the Strictly Come Dancing winner from a couple of years ago, and the old Stars In Your Eyes host Matthew Kelly crash through the famous chopsticks scene on the carpet piano, Walsh saves the show by being twice as good as anybody else.

This superiority in song and thesp is good for her CV and a challenge to anybody set to the idea she just stood around in the background while in Girls Aloud.

But it may not actually be such a hard task in a show which has too many low points – the magical Zoltar machine burping out “your wish has been granted” like a dying Dalek in a bloated first half being the nadir.

And with no really memorable songs in the set, at stages you wish they’d just run it as a straight play.

Until November 2
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