Wednesday 27 November 2019

& Juliet - Review

Shaftesbury Theatre, London


Music and lyrics by Max Martin and Friends
Book by David West Read
Directed by Luke Sheppard

Miriam Teak Lee

& Juliet is a new musical inspired by a Shakespeare classic and the back catalogue of one of the 21st century’s smartest songwriters, Max Martin.

David West Read has taken 30 Martin numbers – remember that the composer, who also co-produces, has written for most of the recent giants of the global pop music scene – and around them, woven a story that explores Juliet’s potential to have become a powerful and dynamic leading lady.

The show’s narrative may be slight but its twists and turns keep the audience hooked and the piece engages with its classic references that display an imaginative wit matched only by an outstanding cast and creative team. Miriam Teak Lee takes the title role, convincing in her chic interpretation of Juliet complete with powerhouse vocals, while alongside her are some of musical theatre’s strongest performers. David Bedella compels as Lance, while Melanie La Barrie’s Nurse, Arun Blair-Mangat's May and (cover) Dillon Scott-Lewis’ Francois are equally sensational.

Luke Sheppard directs with his hallmark visual flair that lends itself so well to such a music and dance driven story. Jennifer Weber’s whip-smart choreography is thrilling, with Soutra Gilmour’s typically provocative design work, lit by Howard Hudson, combining romance with excitement. Dominic Fallacaro’s nine piece band deliver an electrifying pulse to Martin’s melodies.

Suitably woke and with a nod to issues of both gender and sexuality, & Juliet is that unique musical that fuses classic English literature with the modern classics of pop. It’s a fun night at the theatre.

Now booking until 30th May 2020

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