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Girls Aloud and The Wanted stars shine in ‘Big: the Musical’ | London review

The Wanted's Jay McGuiness jumps out of the closet in just his pants. What's not to love?

By Will Stroude

WORDS: Patrick Reardon-Morgan

It’s an all-singing, all-dancing bonanza based on Tom Hank’s 1988 blockbuster – ‘Big: The Musical’ starring The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness and Girls Aloud star Kimberly Walsh opened last night.

12-year-old Josh Baskin makes a wish to be ‘big’. Cue a string of shenanigans as grown-up Josh teaches the out of touch execs at MacMillan Toys how to have fun.

Once you’ve got an eyeful of The Wanted star’s abs in his colourful opening scene crop top, you might wonder if it’s Josh’s wish that’s come true or yours.

Even more so when Kimberley Walsh of Girls Aloud joined him on stage to last night’s adoring audience.

Stars including Paul O’Grady, Craig Revel Horwood and Love Island’s Amy Hart attended the studded gala. Cheryl Cole and Nicola Roberts were also there to support their former Girls Aloud bandmate Walsh. 

And in reality, it’s the stars of Big’s fabulous, funny and full-hearted performances that carry the show.

Image: Jay McGuiness in the ‘crop top’ PJs in the 2016 production of Big: The Musical 

There’s definitely something kind of off about this plot, but Jay and Kimberley do a good job of papering over the eyebrow-raising moments.

The gala at the Dominion in London’s west end, previously hosts to super shows including We Will Rock You, this show is ‘Big’ by name and ‘Big’ by nature.

If nothing else it piles on the pizzazz, with slick staging, luscious lighting and dazzling dance routines.

The set pieces pack so much joy that even the cynics at MacMillan Toys would struggle to leave without a smile on their faces.

But despite the glamour, Big lacks one massive tune that you can sing all the way home.

Without that, can it draw the throngs of families it clearly craves?

One thing is for sure – this primary colour pantomime should be seen through the eyes of a child.

So leave your scepticism at the door and you’re bound to have a fun night out.

The show is open now at the Dominion Theatre and is supporting the Make a Wish Foundation for the duration of its run. 

Attitude: 3/5 Stars