Bonnie & Clyde – Review

Bonnie & Clyde: Garrick Theatre, London

25th March 2023


After a hugely successful concert version at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and then an almost sold out run at the Arts Theatre, Bonnie & Clyde is now showing at the Garrick Theatre for a limited run. Maintaining most of its original London cast, this new production has been tweaked and improved and is already stunning audiences in its new home.

Bonnie & Clyde features a book and score by the incredibly talented Ivan Menchell, Don Black and Frank Wildhorn and their much loved show is in safe hands with this talented cast. Charlie McCullagh (understudy during this performance) is able to show off Clyde’s rough exterior fantastically whilst also allowing the audience to see him at his more vulnerable side. ‘Raise a Little Hell‘ is a real show stopper moment in the show and McCullagh is more than capable of this powerhouse number. His vocals are strong and powerful and the emotion seeps through brilliantly. His onstage relationship with his brother Buck, played by George Maguire, is also excellent with their duet ‘When You Drive‘ being particularly strong. Reprising her role, Frances Mayli McCann plays Bonnie brilliantly. She shows Bonnie’s journey from sweet and innocent waitress to one half of one of the world’s most wanted couple excellently. Throughout the show her vocals are outstanding, in particular during the moving song ‘Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad‘ and ‘This World Will Remember Us‘. Jodie Steele joins the company as Blanche and does so flawlessly. Her comic ability shines through adding light relief to a tense story. During the song ‘You Love Who You Love‘ Steele’s and McCann’s voices match beautifully to create something really special. The creatives have also allowed the cast to put some of themselves into the role and Steele is able to show off her amazing riffs during her excellent performance of ‘That’s What You Call a Dream’. The entire cast are outstanding and completely suited to their roles. They are certainly able to raise a little hell throughout the performance.

There have been some changes since the run at the Arts. One of the most notable is the absence of Ted’s newly written song ‘Here in our Hearts‘. There are also a few new scenes and Blanche gets a new snippet of a song. The changes all work well and whilst the show fundamentally remains the same the additions help to narrate the story. The cleverly designed set by Philip Witcomb, takes the audience members back to the 1930’s with the decorations spilling out into the auditorium. The attention to detail in both the props adorning the walls and the costumes is second to none and really helps set the scene. Fans of the Broadway show will be pleased to see the bath tub scene and iconic car remain in this production. Again, there are a few changes to the set pieces with larger props and the addition of Bonnie’s front steps further updating the show and making use of the larger stage. The use of a projection, by Nina Dunn, again helps set the scene and show the gravity of the situation. These have also been updated and during Clyde’s monologue section in the second act they are really powerful.  Zoe Spurr’s lighting is tremendous. Just the right mix of light and shade to emphasise the hardships of the time and the true threat that Bonnie and Clyde were under. The special effects, particularly the gun shots worked excellently to bring their story to life.

Bonnie & Clyde remains an excellent production. The exceptional cast, along with brilliant direction from Nick Winston means that Bonnie and Clyde’s story will live on, something they always dreamt of. Fans of the original Broadway show or its limited run at the Arts Theatre last year will not find fault with this newly updated production. With its rousing score, enigmatic characters and hugely talented cast it would be a crime to miss it.

Bonnie & Clyde is playing at the Arts Theatre until the 20th May 2023. For information and tickets click here.

Photo Credit: The Other Richard

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