“The World Will Remember Us”: Bonnie and Clyde officially makes it UK debut at the Arts Theatre
Updated: Apr 22
BONNIE and Clyde, one of the most famous unconventional love stories of two outlaws, has officially opened on the West End.
Frances Mayli Mcann and Jordan Luke Cage, photo credits Richard Davenport
The show, with a book written by Ivan Menchell, lyrics by Don Black and music by Frank Wildhorn, became a cult classic amongst fans of musical theatre, even with the very short Broadway run of 36 performances. A West-End transfer has been highly anticipated for many years, and this production does not disappoint.
The show is only held back by its theatre, which is one of the smallest theatres in the West End. With a larger home, they could match the energy of the show with a larger audience and have more space to explore the staging of the production. The set is very well done, decorating the outside of the stage with classic brick, moving sections of scenery to show a change of scene and projections on the back wall which are done effectively, from projections of the woods to mugshots and blood splatters. My favourite use personally is the use of silhouettes, which work for the more brutal scenes without triggering audience members.
Frances Mayli McCann is truly the star of the show as Bonnie. She understands who Bonnie was and you can tell from her performance that she has done her research and truly cares about portraying her well. Her voice is exceptional, never faltering for a moment, you could listen to it forever. You see Bonnie go from an innocent wannabe Hollywood star stuck in a forgotten town, to a powerful outlaw, blinded by love.
Jordan Luke Cage stars as her lover, Clyde and truly shows all sides of him. He will go from a flirtatious boy from the wrong side of the tracks to a crazed man. Beaten by society in seconds and it is truly remarkable how he can get the audience to love him one second and gasp in shock at his actions the next. His rendition of “Raise A Little Hell” was terrifyingly impressive and was a complete turning point for the show. The comedy between the couple was also done very well, especially in a scene where they discuss whose name should come first in their pairing.
Another standout was Natalie McQueen as Blanche Barrow, who is our comedic relief throughout the show. Her performance had the audience rumbling with laughter every time she spoke, she never missed a beat. Yet she also had truly heartfelt moments and brought most of the audience to tears at her final scene. I truly loved her duet with Francis of “You Love Who You Love”, which has also been stuck in my head since watching the production. Their voices harmonise together beautifully, and it gave me goosebumps for the entire number.
The cast also had to deal with a slight disruption as halfway through the big act 1 finale, an audience member had passed out and needed medical attention. The cast and Arts Theatre staff all handled this superbly, making sure she was okay and stopping the show, only continuing once she was okay.
I cannot fault many things in this production as it was truly what we have waited for, and I believe a transfer to a bigger theatre is highly probable.
Bonnie and Clyde is currently running at the Arts Theatre until 10th July 2022.
You can buy tickets at: https://bonnieandclydemusical.com/