Bonnie & Clyde ★★★★★ Arts Theatre | Apr 9 - Jul 10, 2022

Bonnie & Clyde hits the West End with all guns blazing. It has a good story, a great score and superb acting. Desperation born of the Great Depression leads Bonnie Parker (Frances Mayli McCann) and Clyde Barrow (Jordan Luke Gage) into a life of crime. Disenchantment with the bankrupt American Dream plus an infatuation with celebrity cause the public to turn them into folk heroes. Faced with a dysfunctional society and a religion that celebrates passivity, the title characters decide to take control of their own lives and to become the romantic figures who inspire their own and others' imaginations. As Bonnie and Clyde, McCann and Gage both do a wonderful job of conveying the vulnerability and recklessness of youth. Their singing also does justice to the great score from Don Black and Frank Wildhorn. Songs like "Raise A Little Hell" and "Dyin' Ain't So Bad" are gong to be classics and their renditions here are simply terrific. Natalie McQueen is pitch-perfect as the cautious, sharp-tongued Blanche and her duet with McCann "You Love Who You Love" is poignantly unforgettable. The relationship of Blanche with Buck Barrow, masterfully interpreted by George Maguire, provides the perfect counterpoint to the headstrong hedonism of the bank-robbing principals. Equally, the rest of the cast, particularly Ako Mitchell as the Preacher and Cleve September as Ted Hinton, do extraordinary work to situate us in the world of the ill-fated lovers. Director and choreographer, Nick Winston, has beautifully staged the piece to capture the tone and atmosphere of the American southwest in the 1930s, and he has paced the show perfectly. Kudos also to Tom Fitch for his imaginative lighting and video. Bonnie and Clyde became notorious for their thefts and robberies, and now their story is a musical that's likely to steal your heart!

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Richard Davenport.

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