Bonnie & Clyde The Musical: Filmed Live

Reviewer: Emily Davison

Book: Ivan Menchell

Lyrics: Don Black

Music: Frank Wildhorn

Director: Nick Winston

“Everybody’s got dreams. I’ve got plans”

This production definitely has plans to take this story far and wide. Filmed at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Bonnie & Clyde follows the two titular characters, creating paths towards their believed fate of becoming famous. In Clyde’s case, it’s committing crimes and striving to be better than Al Capone. In Bonnie’s case, it’s being a star in Hollywood. However, their influence on one another and their developing love lead their plans astray as obstacles begin to stand in their way.

Director Nick Winston creates a dynamic, engaging and original take on the well-known story. The lack of a naturalistic set, which allows for more opportunities to use lighting and props to set the scene, complements the energetic, fast-paced nature of the storyline and characters.

The set, designed by Philip Whitcomb, paints the image of the American Dream, which highlights the clear theme of hopes and dreams that run through the characters. The American flag, which acts as a backdrop to the stage, creates a canvas for projections and dramatic lighting choices, designed by Zoe Spurr, which take the audience from one location to the next. In combination with the scaffolding levels that add platforms for the characters to explore, there is no need for any extravagant set, as the acting and music are clear to follow and engaging to watch.

Clyde, played by Jeremy Jordan, the original Clyde in the Broadway premiere, carries the show from start to finish. His psycho nature, laced with his obsessive love for Bonnie, Frances Mayli McCann, the original Bonnie in the West End, leaves the audience loving and hating him at the same time. His rough vocals, in contrast to Bonnie’s flawless and smooth tone, balance the stage with incredible harmonies and passion. The audience witnesses their relationship blossom from the beginning, painting the characters as flirtatious, but cautious, aware of how this love could change them.

A notable performance comes from Natalie McQueen, who plays Blanche. Her strong and powerful persona, as a woman who knows what she wants, balanced with her passion and love for Buck, George Maguire, creates a unique and creative blend within her character. Her duet with Mayli McCann, You Love Who You Love, which is a great summary of the complex relationships weaved into this story, is heart-wrenching and requires no accompanying movement. Both women fill the stage with rich and breath-taking phrases, bringing two characters, who are the least bit alike, together in the one thing they share, love.

Although the show does not contain a lot of dancing, the little movement is slick and fitting to the era of the show. This, combined with the stage fighting which, being quite a violent plot line, comes up frequently, means that there is enough action on stage to visually entertain.

Bonnie and Clyde share their love story with the audience, inviting them into the intricacies of their relationship and the complications they face together. A story not to be missed.

Streaming here on demand from 24 June 2024

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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