Booking Until: July 10th 2022
Ticket link: https://artstheatrewestend.co.uk/events/bonnie-clyde
The two infamous outlaws brought to life in Frank Wildhorn, Ivan Menchell and Don Black’s cult classic musical have finally arrived in the West End. After two incredible sold out performances at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, the fan favourite musical has finally been given a chance to shine in a full production at the Arts Theatre. I have had the original Broadway cast album for this show on repeat for years and years and I’m so glad to see this musical become a full West End production. And it’s an incredible one at that.
From afar, it seems like the topic of Bonnie and Clyde is a strange one to have given the absolute horror they caused. What is really strong throughout the incredible rock/country type music and throughout the script is that they are never once romanticized for their actions. The duo have been infamous throughout history as this love against all couple, but what I got, was the show focuses more on the celebrity culture these two had inhabited at the time. They did horrific things but they were entertainment in a time that was so focused on pure survival, given there was hardly any money to be made in the time. It’s really fascinating because celebrity culture is still so prevalent today and I think that relatability between the 1930s and now (or the 10 or so years the show has had an audience) is a big part of why people are flocking to the show.
Leading the cast as the infamous duo are Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage. Having seen Frances perform as Bonnie in the concert, I was so happy to see she was going to be reprising her role because her performance was, and still is, genuinely faultless. She’s so effortlessly charming and really brings Bonnie’s drive to the forefront of her performance that it becomes quite easy why she would want to go on this adventure with Clyde, despite initial hesitation at first. Her vocals soar across the Arts Theatre with the way she gives us the definitive Dyin Ain’t So Bad which is a stunning 11 o’clock number. Jordan Luke Gage is excellent as Clyde, excelling at portraying the boyish charm throughout his performance. He also has an incredible set of pipes to match and his Raise A Little Hell is a sight to behold.
There’s fantastic support from George Maguire and Natalie McQueen, who also reprise their roles from the Drury Lane production. They have wonderful chemistry together and really steal the show in some moments. They make me wish there was an entire musical about Buck and Blanche. Also thought Ako Mitchell, Cleve September and Gracie Lai had some brilliant standout moments too. To be honest, the entire company are just fantastic, there’s not a weak link between them. I’d say this is one of the best put together companies in London theatre right now.
I also thought this production was impeccably directed by Nick Winston. The way he’s managed to make this tiny theatre actually feel like you’re in Bonnie and Clyde’s world is marvellous. From costumes and set designed by Phillip Witcomb to video design by Nina Dunn to having Katy Richardson on board as musical director. Every piece really does fit together so well like a puzzle.
If you’re looking for a new musical that’s unlike anything else currently in the West End scene, I highly recommend Bonnie and Clyde. There’s so much more I could say about how wonderful this production is but instead catch me at the Arts Theatre as many times as I can before July 10th.
Categories: On Stage