Bonnie & Clyde The Musical in Concert: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London.
18th January 2022
Fans of the hit musical Bonnie & Clyde have been waiting for years for it to make its West End debut and it certainly did not disappoint! Selling out in just 6 minutes, this eagerly anticipated concert version marked 10 years since its Broadway debut. Bonnie & Clyde may have only run for 2 months on Broadway but its score, and countless bootlegs, have made it into an almost overnight cult-like success. Since its short stint in New York it has played venues across the world, gathering fans from every corner and finally London has been added to that list.
Billed as a concert, this production directed by Nick Winston was anything but. Rehearsed in under two weeks and for only two performances, the show came complete with set, costumes, choreography and fantastic staging. The simple tiered set worked brilliantly with against a backdrop of a bullet ridden American flag. The theatre is usually home to Disney’s Frozen so installing the set, band and lighting for just two nights is no mean feat and it was clear that every effort had gone into making it a true success. Lighting by Zoe Spurr was particularly effective and gave a real insight into how this production could be, if given a full run.
The cast were absolutely incredible. The level of talent displayed onstage was insane. Reprising the role he originated 10 years ago, Jeremy Jordan blew the audience away as Clyde. It would be true to say that many of the audience members booked purely to see Jordan performing this iconic musical live in person and they were not disappointed. He understands the show, the songs and truly embodies Clyde. Vocally, Jordan always impresses and this performance was no different. ‘Raise a Little Hell‘ was a real highlight of the show and from the moment Jordan sang his first opening note in ‘Picture Show‘ the audience knew they were in safe hands. Frances Mayli McCann showed true star quality as Bonnie. She matched Jordan’s energy and passion onstage to create a dynamic duo and her vocals were outstanding particularly in the moving song ‘Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad‘. Another real hit of the night was Natalie McQueen as Blanche. McQueen’s comic ability shone through adding light relief to a tense story. During the song ‘You Love Who You Love‘ McQueen’s and McCann’s voices matched beautifully to create something really special. Blanche’s relationship with Buck is more than just just there for comedy though, she truly loves him and will do anything for him and McQueen’s portrayal of this, particularly in Buck’s final moments is superb. Trevor Dion Nicholas excelled as the Pastor with ‘Made in America‘ being a fantastic opening to the second act. You would never have guessed that these actors have only rehearsed for a matter of weeks with many starring in other shows alongside rehearsals and these performances.
Bonnie & Clyde would not exist without the incredibly talented Ivan Menchell, Don Black and Frank Wildhorn so it was to every fans delight that they were also watching this land mark performance. Of course, the next question on everyone’s minds was when was Bonnie & Clyde finally coming to the West End for a full run. The audience recieved their wish when producer Dan Looney announced a limited season at the Arts Theatre, London. With the small size of the Arts Theatre it does feel like the production just witnessed could well have been a test run and if that is the case then the audiences are in for a treat, especially if some of the cast are also kept on. Not only this, but the performance at the Theatre Royal was also filmed for cinema and streaming release. Bonnie and Clyde were infamous in life and it seems their story really does live on, in a way I am sure neither ever thought it would do.
Performances of Bonnie & Clyde start on the 9th April 2022 at the Arts Theatre, London. For information and tickets click here.