Justice is served with steamy and action-packed Bonnie & Clyde musical

BONNIE Parker wanted to be a movie star, now her name lights up London's West End.

Her romance with Clyde is one of the love stories that has been told for generations and this lastest offering is captivating.


The shoot 'em first, ask questions later couple are brought to life through song thanks to Ivan Menchell, Don Black, and Frank Wildhorn.

Bonnie and Clyde were famous gangsters in 1930s America darting across state lines to rob banks and stores before being gunned down following an arduous manhunt.

This production is action-packed and so steamy that if there was an award for snogging on stage the most it would certainly win.

But it starts off slightly more innocent than it ends up.

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Opening a new production with child stars is risky, but one that pays off with Bea Ward as young Bonnie and Isaac Lancel Watkinson as little Clyde. Both hold their own and keep the audience enthralled for the opening number.

Frances McCann is a mesmerising Bonnie whose solo songs and heartbreak at realising she will die with her lover make the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention.

She embodies the ravishing redhead with utter confidence and deftly moves from vulnerable to confident as easily as she walks across the stage.

Clyde, played by Jordan Luke Gage (who seems to be in everything I've seen recently) has a stuttering start to embody the hardened gangster.

At first, he reminds me too much of his character Romeo in & Juliet but as the show goes on he slowly descends into darkness and matches the intensity of McCann's Bonnie.

The references to Clyde being sexually abused turned the somewhat goofy boy into a hardened man who dealt the abuser some savage justice.

Comedic duo George Maguire and Natalie McQueen, as Buck Barrow and Blanche Barrow respectively, quickly capture the hearts of the audience as they watch the titular pair's antics.

McQueen's Blanche, who makes observations, not judgments (or so she tells God), is simply flawless rolling seamlessly from hilarious skits into total devastation at her husband's antics and eventual death.

Going into a musical about fearsome shootouts and violence left me concerned but I was blown away by duets You Love Who You Love and Dyin' Ain't So Bad.

Clyde's big solo Raise A Little Hell will be blowing around my brain for days to come.

Gage also gets credit for his initial rendition being interrupted by an audience medical incident sending him off stage, but upon return, he continued as if a moment hadn't passed from the last note.

I'm sure if Bonnie was still alive she'd be merrily signing the programs as she did papers when they held up banks.

Justice has been served.

Bonnie & Clyde
The Arts Theatre, London
★★★★★



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