Bonnie & Clyde the Musical
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Arts Theatre, London
Cast: Jordan Luke Gage, Frances Mayli McCann, Natalie McQueen and George Maguire

Two small-town kids from the middle of nowhere became the biggest folk heroes in all America.They craved adventure—and each other. Their names were Bonnie and Clyde.

Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage star in the West End premiere of the cult-sensation BONNIE AND CLYDE THE MUSICAL. Featuring music by Tony® nominee Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde), lyrics by Tony® and Oscar® winner Don Black (Sunset Boulevard), a book by Emmy® Award nominee Ivan Menchell, and directed by Nick Winston.

It's the moment that UK fans have been eagerly anticipating for years - a West End run of the now cult-classic Bonnie & Clyde. After the staged concert sold out in just a few minutes and took place earlier this year, it was clear the demand was there for a West End run. After listening to the soundtrack on repeat for years, it was finally time to see Bonnie & Clyde in London. 

It's worth mentioning that I also attended the first preview of Bonnie & Clyde (I did say I'd been waiting years for this!). So I was interested to see what changes had been made, and how the show differed from the week of previews.

The story follows the infamous Bonnie & Clyde, and shows us their explosive journey into a life of love, adventure, and most importantly, crime. It's set in the early 1930's during The Great Depression, which isn't an era that I was very familiar with. After watching the show and realising the lives that both Bonnie and Clyde lived; it made me empathise more with the characters. That's not to say the audience condones what they did, rather that they understand the circumstances that led them to where they ended up.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of Jordan Luke Gage. Having seen Jordan as Romeo (& Juliet), I was apprehensive as to how he would handle the role of Clyde - he's a hugely demanding role. But Jordan's Clyde is simply phenomenal. His version of Raise a Little Hell was hauntingly brilliant. It's the moment within the show where something changes within him, and Jordan captures that journey perfectly

Frances Mayli McCann playing Bonnie is nothing short of sensational. It's truly as though the role was written for her. She completely embodies the role of Bonnie and Dyin' Ain't So Bad might just be the most heartbreakingly beautiful piece of theatre I've ever witnessed. Her voice is captivating and you can't help but be drawn to her whenever she's on stage. Ravishing redhead, indeed.

Natalie McQueen and George Maguire's (Blanche and Buck Barrow) chemistry is electric and the love they feel for each other radiates from them whenever they're on stage. Natalie plays the unashamedly loyal wife so well, which makes Love Who You Love all the more soul destroying.

There isn't a weak link within this cast. From Ross Dawes (Frank Hamer) to Ako Mitchell (Preacher) to Bea Ward (Young Bonnie), every single member is talented; as well as being a really diverse cast. Cleve September as Ted Hinton has the most incredible smooth voice and the addition of Here In Our Hearts (a new duet sang by Ted and Bonnie) highlights the relationship that Bonnie and Ted shared, in a way that hadn't been clear to me before.

The music in this production is so diverse; there's something for everyone. From rock, to country, to gospel, to ballads. When I Drive, Dyin' Ain't So Bad, Raise a Little Hell and Too Late to Turn Back Now are the most memorable numbers from the show; but the entirety of the soundtrack is simply magical.

With the Arts theatre housing a small stage, I wondered if the sets would be somewhat disappointing, but from the iconic car, to the jail scenes - even the hairdressing salon, the sets had it all. As well as being complete with authentic looking props and time appropriate costumes (which are absolutely gorgeous, may I add).

The show was more emotional than I had anticipated. I knew it would invoke feelings, but the show is so well written, and so well cast, that you really care for these characters. You're aware that what they're doing is wrong, but you understand how they've ended up on the paths they're on.

If you're looking for a production that'll transport you back in time (from the very second you enter the auditorium), take you on a journey through the Great Depression, along with incredible music, an insanely talented cast and a tragic love story - then Bonnie & Clyde is the show for you. I would highly recommend checking out this production before it's limited season ends on July 10th.

You can buy tickets to Bonnie & Clyde at The Arts Theatre, London, here.

No comments