Bonnie & Clyde
21 April 2022
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
I had booked preview tickets for the new run of the Bonnie & Clyde musical shortly after it was announced. As most of you know, I’m a big musical fan, and this seemed like a great addition to the West End selection.
We all know the story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, or at least an overview version of it, so I was excited to see what the musical did with that material.
Obviously, being set in the Great Depression era, it does feel a little aged in its very conservative and heteronormative view of the world, including several gospel songs sung by a preacher, and of course songs about women having to stick with their man. But let’s leave that where it is and just look at the musical itself.
With a good amount of rockabilly flair, the music is definitely more peppy than I expected. There are some blues and pop influences as well. The plot is laid out well, starting with the death of the notorious couple, and then fading back to their childhoods and progressing from there.
Both Bonnie and Clyde being shown as having grown up in marginalised settings with very little means, their wild love story is treated beautifully. Though I did feel that the character progression was a bit rushed in the last third of the musical, making it feel a little rushed compared to the slower storytelling of the first act. I wish there would have been another half hour or so to dive into how Bonnie got so deeply obsessed with Clyde that she changed her tune and joined him on his spree.
However, the material that is presented, is presented very well with impassioned songs and a very nostalgic flair.
The musical didn’t blow me away, but it definitely entertained me for the duration!