Theatre Review: & Juliet

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As a self confessed theatre buff I have been to my fair share of shows, plays, musicals. However, & Juliet has blown every show I have seen, out of the water.

It could have been down to the fact that I needed a bit of female empowerment in my life, thrown in with a few Britney songs and a dash of Backstreet Boys. Or it could have been because David West Read and Luke Sheppard have created a masterpiece.

‘& Juliet’ is a re-imagining of the events of Shakespeare’s tragic romance ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in which Juliet opts not to top herself at the end but instead heads off to France on a road trip of self-discovery.

This hilarious re-write of Romeo & Juliet is the ‘What If’ version and it does not disappoint.

What if Juliet hadn’t plunged a dagger into her chest? What if she picked herself up and moved on with her life? 

This modern take features tunes from the Swedish songwriter Max Martin, who’s catalogue includes songs from Katy Perry, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears – just to name a few.

Manchester was treated to the musical debut earlier this month before it finds residency in London’s West End over Christmas. I went to see it not once, but twice, in the same week. Something I have never done before.

Opening with William Shakespeare penning his famous ending to his tragic play – his miffed wife, Anne Hathaway, criticises the way he is portraying Juliet. Anne wants to see what happens if Juliet didn’t actually kill herself – and so it begins. A journey of female empowerment.

There is some top-notch talent involved too, with Max Martin himself co-producing the show.

Miriam-Teak Lee – who takes on the title role – is an absolute powerhouse. she demonstrated the most fabulous and powerful voice you could wish to hear on stage. From a dark rendition of Britney Spears ‘Baby One More Time’ to her closing number, a mind blowingly glorious ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry. The queen of sass and class with the ability to portray a character on a journey. The audience couldn’t keep their eyes off her.

Oliver Tompsett – William Shakespeare is excellent, Melanie La Barrie – Nurse has brilliant comedic delivery and a fabulous voice – her delivery of Pinks F**king Perfect was just awesome.

David Bedella who plays Lance is hilarious in the role of the strutting French Lord, and Cassidy Janson plays a bubbly Anne Hathaway, displaying the sort of kick-ass attitude that any gal could wish for. I’m making it my mission to be her best friend.

I could list every single actor in this show and write endless compliments but I will let you judge that for yourself. 

This jukebox musical celebrates Shakespeare throughout, with the writers of the show making a clear respect and love for his work. they also point out some of history’s mysteries. One of which, he died leaving his wife his second best bed. Who knew? I certainty didn’t. It was clearly not a happy marriage – as Anne points out, he details not on single happy relationship in any of his plays.

If you are keen on watching this musical masterpiece you can get a tickets here

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