It’s shows like & Juliet that the West End should crave for. The story unfolds around what would have happened if Juliet didn’t kill herself and if her famous ending was really just a new beginning. The show’s music comes from none other than renowned songsmith Max Martin, writer of some of the biggest pop anthems in modern history.
Jukebox musicals always take a bashing but what’s wrong with songs that we all know? We all love a little familiarity. Watching the show at the star studded press night yesterday, I reminisced about “I Can’t Sing”, Simon Cowell’s X-Factor musical which was full of original music and brilliant comedy but closed after 6 weeks. As a production, it worked but wasn’t familiar.
& Juliet brings the pop music era roaring back to life played by a 10 strong band as the hits keep coming throughout the show. Max Martin’s back catalogue soars with pop anthems like I Want It That Way, Everybody, Stronger, Roar, Can’t Stop The Feeling and oh so many more. To go with these iconic songs, Shakespeare is brought into 2019 with a sassy script that appeals to Shakespeare newbies as well as aficionados.
The cast is littered with talent throughout and led by the stunning Miriam–Teak Lee who 7 minutes into the show blows us away with a tingling interpretation of …Baby One More Time. Oliver Tompsett as Shakespeare narrates this tale with those dreamy rock power vocals and West End legend David Bedella plays Lance, a loving dad with a penchant for crotch heavy trousers. Special mention must also go to Jordan Luke Gage who as Louis Walsh would say, “Looks like Romeo, sounds like Romeo and is Romeo!”
Luke Sheppard’s clever direction plays on the immense strength of the cast, allowing them to inject a little bit of them into their characters. The show flows well and has this tongue in cheek attitude which lets us as the audience relax into the piece and just have fun.
& Juliet won’t be everyone’s poison but it worked for us. The show doesn’t take itself seriously and there is an immense sense of fun delivered by an insanely talented cast. Inject into this a little comedy and pop music and you have a great night out. It’s one of those shows that we want to return to and take our grans, boyfriends, girlfriends and everyone in between.
& Juliet is currently booking till 30 May 2020.
To book tickets, call the box office on 0844 871 3018 or online at: andjulietthemusical.co.uk
By Mark Captain
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