However many years pass by, we never entirely forget what it is to be young. Big the Musical, which premiered in 1996 and which followed the 1988 film, is a nostalgic night out which will have you asking, when did you last check in with your inner ‘Big’ kid?

Josh is two weeks from thirteen, a normal kid decked out in 80’s backwards cap and jacket with a family, his dorky best friend Billy and a crush who doesn’t know he exists. I can relate – at thirteen, I wouldn’t leave the house without my ‘trademark’ over-knee stripy socks and though I went on my first date, we ate McDonalds and saw School of Rock, this was hardly the pinnacle of romance and I felt every bit as awkward.

What these were however, were formative experiences. But formative experiences are not what Josh is looking for, and weeks from his thirteenth birthday, rejected and humiliated by his crush at a carnival, Josh loses patience and wishes on a spooky old carnival machine to be “big”. It isn’t any old carnival machine, and the next morning he wakes up in pyjamas many, many sizes too small – his wish has been granted. Left to navigate the grown-up world alone while Billy searches for the solution, will Josh learn to love the Big world of jobs and cars and money, or will the love of his best friend and family win-out over the possibility of unlimited toys and blossoming romance?
The ever-energetic YAT cast have an absolute ball with the show in the capable hands of director Sophie Hardie, who though new to YAT, has previously directed with TTC.

Seeing the adult parts played by actors who are still only young people themselves adds another whole generational dimension to what we are watching. Every one of them will be too young to have seen the 1980s first hand, so their families will be watching them re-live a generation they weren’t even alive to see … not that this matters of course, who doesn’t love legwarmers, mom-jeans, top-knots and neon?

Image-4 Big

Image credit: Sarah J. Carter


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