From acclaimed company Theatre Movement Bazaar, Big Shot comes with the tagline, “Not The Godfather.” It is, however, certainly a piece of theatre inspired by this particular book and film, covering everything from the themes and characters to controversy surrounding it it.
One problem: I have never seen The Godfather. Embarrassing, yes – I’m not proud of the fact. It’s frequently a source of shame at dinner table conversations about favourite films, but there you go. It’s on the ‘to watch’ list, I promise.
So what’s it like watching a show inspired by a book you have never read and a film you have never seen? Well, if I’m honest, a bit like being very out the loop at some kind of secret club, and everyone else is in on a big old joke except me. Quite sad really, but then that’s what you get from having carelessly neglected to watch cinematic classics.
Fortunately the all-singing, all-dancing spectacle that is Big Shot is more than captivating enough. The show takes inspiration from Mario Puzzo’s novel and the famous film to create a very new piece of work examining the dynamics of a powerful family and what it means to be Italian American (spoiler: there’s a lot of pasta).
The style is certainly vaudevillian; it’s a joyous combination of physical theatre, dance, songs, and much more. There is frequently so much on the stage I just don’t know where to look, and this cast are so perfectly in sync it sometimes feels they are one.
Big Shot is a great show, and next time I’ll make sure I’ve seen the film. If I ever do see The Godfather now however, I won’t be able to get Theatre Bazaar’s electric performance out of my head.
Big Shot plays at Bedlam Theatre from 19 -30 August as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more information, visit the festival website.