Fat Sam’s Speakeasy lives again as Bugsy prepares to mark 40th
READING’S historic Olympia Ballroom will be transformed into Fat Sam’s Speakeasy for one night only next
READING’S historic Olympia Ballroom will be transformed into Fat Sam’s Speakeasy for one night only next month as Reading Year of Culture marks the town’s links with the 1976 gangster film Bugsy Malone.
Friday, September 16 will see an immersive evening at the London Street venue featuring film, music, special guests — and splurge guns!
The iconic movie musical, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, was filmed in Reading — with the old Huntley & Palmers building on Kings Road providing both the exterior of the splurge gun factory and the interior of Fat Sam’s, where much of the film’s action takes place.
There will be surprises and special guests throughout the evening — most notably actor and director Dexter Fletcher.
Dexter made his screen debut in Bugsy Malone as Babyface before going on to star in Press Gang and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. This year he followed up Sunshine on Leith by directing the hit comedy Eddie the Eagle and he will take part in a Q&A session on the night.
Before the screening of the 1976 movie, which remains notable for featuring only child actors — including Scott Baio and Jodie Foster — there will be live performances by top Reading jazz and blues singer Ma Bessie & The Pig Foot Band, as well as a swing band.
The audience are encouraged to dress up and will be able to take advantage of vintage styling from Electric Hairdressing and Jelly before sampling some Chicago-style food and drink.
Reading Year of Culture producer Zsuzsi Lindsay said: “We’re so excited to be bringing Bugsy home to Reading 40 years on for this special night. It’s particularly pleasing to have so many local performers and businesses on board.”
Tickets are £20, available from www.readingarts.com and by calling 0118 960 6060.