Review: BONNIE & CLYDE IN CONCERT, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Broadway icon Jeremy Jordan and Frances Mayli McCann sizzle in this red-hot production about the infamous bank robbers

By: Jan. 18, 2022
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Review: BONNIE & CLYDE IN CONCERT, Theatre Royal Drury Lane Review: BONNIE & CLYDE IN CONCERT, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Theatre Royal Drury Lane has allowed its show-stopping hit Frozen to take a short break, making way for an explosive and dynamic concert production of Bonnie & Clyde, starring Broadway icon Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors) and Olivier Award-nominated actress Frances Mayli McCann (Heathers, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour). This red-hot production is the antithesis of its snow-covered predecessor in the newly renovated theatre - not least due to its subject matter.

Based on the tale of the infamous felons Bonnie and Clyde, this production details the couple's descent into crime as they begin to "rob and steal, and those who squeal, are usually found dying or dead." Bored with the banality of humdrum life, the pair are young, naive and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve some kind of fame - even if that leaves them with blood on their hands.

Bonnie & Clyde was first introduced to audiences ten years ago, though it failed to live up to the notoriety of its namesakes. In fact, the production closed within just two months of opening. Well, if that production was in any way comparable to last night's version, the early closure was nothing short of criminal. Packed with apt social commentary, catchy songs (by Don Black and Frank Wildhorn), and a host of intriguing characters, Bonnie & Clyde is a masterclass in storytelling.

Since the production closed on Broadway, the original cast recording quickly garnered a cult following. In fact, it currently has over 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone. So it's hardly surprising that when the two-night-only concert was announced, starring Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes (who originated the leads), it's hardly surprising that it sold out in just four minutes.

It goes without saying that Jordan is fantastic in this role (though you'd be hard pressed to find a role that he hasn't fully embodied). Widely regarded as one of the biggest talents on Broadway, Jordan puts his all into every moment on stage, and there isn't a single gesture, note or micro-expression that feels out of place. It is truly something to behold - and is a testament to the fact that he clearly loves and cares so much about the material. This is a story he wants to tell - and that makes it all the more compelling.

He is partnered effortlessly by Frances Mayli McCann in the role of Bonnie, who took over from Onses. If she was in any way nervous about leading this production alongside a name as big as Jordan's, she did not show it. The perfect leading lady, McCann brought great depth to her portrayal, showcasing both tenacity and vulnerability at once. She even managed to make "Dyin' Ain't So Bad" - a song often performed - entirely her own. The strength of this performance is no doubt underpinned by McCann's deep understanding of the character. In an interview, she stated, "[Bonnie] was a victim of love and falling into this life with him. They were so young during difficult times...She is unique."

While the entire ensemble is fantastic, other standouts include the effortlessly comedic and charismatic Natalie McQueen in the role of Blanche and Bea Ward as young Bonnie. At such a young age, Ward commands the stage with the presence of someone who is very much her senior - and will no doubt go on to a phenomenal career.

While initially billed as a concert production, the stage management team pulled out all of the stops in setting the scene, meaning it may better have been labelled a semi-staged production. Though it missed some of the flashiness that comes with a full production, the audience was thrown into the lives of these iconic outlaws with a bang - making for a genuinely mesmerising night of entertainment.

If you weren't quite quick enough to bite the bullet and get tickets for this production, don't worry. The production was filmed and is set to be streamed worldwide later in the year!

For a backstage glimpse into this production, click here


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