August 13, 2022

& Juliet at Shaftesbury Theatre | Theatre evaluation

Taking inspiration from Shakespeare’s notorious tragic love story, the musical & Juliet imagines a sequel that begins off with another ending to the story: one during which Juliet, upon seeing Romeo lifeless, doesn’t finish her life however reasonably leaves Verona and goes off along with her mates to Paris searching for fulfilling experiences. The present options the songs of ultra-successful music producer Max Martin (assume Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry and the like): this reality alone instantly filters the kind of viewers that’s more likely to benefit from the musical.

The story begins with Shakespeare himself (Oliver Tompsett) proudly placing the ending touches on his newest play, Romeo and Juliet. His spouse Anne (Cassidy Janson) will not be so eager on the ending, and she or he persuades him to rewrite it in keeping with her ideas. Thus, Juliet (Miriam-Teak Lee) is seen embarking on her personal journey as she leaves behind her mother and father and her short-lived marriage to Romeo. She goes partying within the French capital whereas the playwright and his spouse could be seen pulling the strings of the story and sometimes disagreeing on the course they wish to take it.

The emotional dimension is expressed by songs resembling I Need It That Method, …Child One Extra Time, and plenty of different chart-topping tunes that can get the viewers singing alongside. & Juliet will undoubtedly show to be a success with fun-chasing theatregoers. It’s unapologetically foolish and tacky, with a robust pantomime really feel to it. It options robust vocal performances, cool Tudor-inspired costumes and a visually impactful set, though the plot is reasonably weak, with a number of the motion created particularly to accommodate the pop hits and justify their inclusion.

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The present’s success depends closely on the viewers’s attachment to the supply materials, specifically Shakespeare’s basic story and the songs which are ingrained in so many individuals’s reminiscence, no matter their musical tastes. What this implies is that, whereas electrifyingly exuberant in some ways, the manufacturing is basically a concoction of acquainted parts introduced in a glitzy package deal, with present-day scorching matters resembling inclusivity and empowerment filling the gaps.

Similar to Martin’s pop songs, & Juliet feels formulaic and skin-deep, nevertheless it one way or the other hits the nail on the pinnacle with regards to the leisure issue, proving in the end compelling.

Mersa Auda
Images: Courtesy of & Juliet

& Juliet is at Shaftesbury Theatre till 24th September 2022. For additional info or to e-book go to the theatre’s web site right here.

Watch the trailer for & Juliet right here: