Bonnie & Clyde ★★★★ Garrick Theatre | Mar 4 - May 20, 2023

Bonnie & Clyde returns to the West End with all guns blazing! From the opening musical sequence we are brilliantly situated in the world of the Great Depression. The desperation that leads Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow into their life of crime is palpable, and the disenchantment with the bankrupt American Dream, plus the infatuation with celebrity, which will make them folk heroes is established. It is abundantly clear why faced with little hope for a better life, the title characters, who see themselves as Billy the Kid and Clara Bow, decide to take control of their lives and to become the romantic figures who inspire them. As Bonnie and Clyde, Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage do a splendid job of conveying the recklessness and aspiration of youth, and their singing does justice to a great score from Don Black and Frank Wildhorn. Songs like "This World Will Remember Me" and "Dyin' Ain't So Bad" are destined to become classics. As the cautious, sharp-tongued Blanche, Jodie Steele puts in a terrific performance which is more than matched by George Maguire's convincing portrayal of Buck Barrow. The latter almost stands in for the audience as he is torn between Blanche's safe and docile dream and Clyde's call to "Raise A Little Hell." The couple become the prudent counterpoint to the headstrong hedonism of the law-breaking principals and bring a comic element into an otherwise pretty dark love story. Full marks also for the rest of the cast, particularly Dom Hartley-Harris as the Preacher and Cleve September as Ted Hinton. They all rise to the occasion. Director and choreographer, Nick Winston, has beautifully staged the piece, pacing the show quite perfectly, and the imaginative lighting and video design successfully captures the tone and atmosphere of the American southwest in the 1930s. Bonnie and Clyde became notorious for their bravado and bank robberies. Here's a musical rendition of their story that's likely to capture your imagination and steal your heart!

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by The Other Richard.

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