Bonnie & Clyde first came to London last year in the form of a sold-out concert at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, a full version of Nick Winston’s production then ran at the Arts Theatre. The show has now returned for a limited run at the larger Garrick Theatre.

Credit: The Other Richard

Philip Witcomb’s set first appears quite like that of the Arts Theatre, simply on a larger scale, but there are tricks up his sleeves as he uses the larger space in its entirety, creating depth, and adding layers to the scenes visually. Nina Dunn’s video designs have been expanded upon from the show’s first run, with more projections throughout the show – some of which were stunning, the silhouettes of Buck and Clyde Barrow as they are released from prison and sentenced respectively, created a visual stunning moment within the show. However, some felt slightly unnecessary, not adding value to the scenes.

As expected, there have been quite a few changes within the production, the first noticeable alteration is the absence of young Bonnie & Clyde, now played by Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage, dressed to appear younger. One very enjoyable change is the extended version of ‘Gods Arms’, which allows Dom Hartley-Harris to flex his vocal skills, showcasing a velvety smooth tone.

The performances are where this show has always and continues to shine. Gage gives an outstanding performance as the charismatic and cheeky Clyde – there is a noticeable change in the character after he escapes from prison, which Gage triggers by powering his performance with emotion, showing Clyde’s character progression clearly. The vocal strength displayed in ‘Raise A Little Hell’ is simply astonishing, filled with emotion, technique, and power, Gage perfectly delivers the number, aptly showing this is a performance you simply cannot witness just once.

Credit: The Other Richard

This time around, McCann’s Bonnie is a much stronger character from the beginning, making her progression from waitress to outlaw more believable, and representative of the real woman. McCann also exhibits her vocal prowess with stunning performances, ‘Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad’, is a particular highlight.

Jodie Steele, a new addition to the cast, makes the role of Blanche Barrow entirely her own, every jibe and sarcastic comment aimed at Bonnie is delivered with sharpness and vitriol, accentuating the humour of Ivan Menchell’s script. The chemistry between Steele and George Maguire sparks, whilst the performance of ‘You’re Going Back to Jail’ was hilarious during the show’s first run, it is now hysterical.

The transfer to a bigger venue could easily mean the show loses something along the way, but that’s not the case here. Although the changes are variable in their levels of success – a couple of them create a disconnect, such as Cumie Barrow arriving onstage after Buck has died. But the addition of a short exchange between Ted and Emma Parker about Bonnie provides a tender, poignant moment within the show. Act Two has now been condensed, improving the pacing and ensuring the momentum of the first half carries along, something which the show previously lacked.

Credit: The Other Richard

The end of Act One remains one of the best ends to an Act in musical theatre, with three incredible musical numbers delivered in quick succession, ensuring the audience is left on a high for the interval, eager to return. Overall, Bonnie & Clyde contains some incredible musical numbers by Frank Wildhorn and Don Black, and outstanding performances across the cast, everyone is on impeccable form here.

The only excuse you have for missing this show is if you are on the run yourself – this production is what you call a dream.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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