Association of Community Theatre

BIG, the musical

PADOS Theatre Group


Director Mark Rosenthal

Musical Director Sarah Osmond

Choreographer Helen Wilkinson


The Tom Hanks film about a 12-year-old boy trapped in the body of a man is memorable for the duet of the touch-toe piano scene. It now has a musical score and has been turned into a stage presentation.


PADOS is celebrating its centenary year and what better way than to presented the North West premiere of “Big the musical”. To give the perspective of a large stage setting,  a video wall was used to enable the many different scenes within the show to be represented. More and more groups are using this facility which helps with the overall presentation and which obviates the need for large flats and backcloths, especially in venues where flying scenery is not an option.


The creative team crafted a lively production full of energy. The director got the best out of the script, and the choreography was animated and entertaining. The score although well delivered, unfortunately does not really have any memorable songs, although the MD did sterling work with the material at her disposal.


All the supporting roles, and the ensemble hard work, gave life to the show and created credibile characters and story.


The show features lots of young people and this allowed the group’s youth section to get involved. They did a superb job and certainly equal to everything the adult members presented.


Josh Baskin, who is fed up of being small, gets his wish to be big granted at a carnival fairground booth.  The younger Josh, played by Joshua Ord, showed the awkwardness and frustration which led Josh to his adventure into adult-land. His best friend, Billy Kopecki, the all American kid, was playfully and divinely portrayed by Elliot Mills.


Waking up and facing his new appearance, Peter Rigney, as Josh, big size, captured the essence of Josh, the younger. Great fun was had in the Macmillan’s toy store and particularly the iconic piano scene. Along with Keith McEvoy, as George Macmillan and the tech team, Josh Big and Josh Little re-enacted the piano duet with great success.


Prim and proper, Susan Lawrence, becomes the love interest for Josh. Showing a whole range of emotions Esme Mather was in fine voice. Esme and Peter captured the chemistry between the two of them.


I feel the founder members of PADOS would been proud that, after 100 years of serving its audiences Prestwich Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Society is still doing what it does best, presenting high quality shows..