In the last few years, many of the new musicals that have hit the West End have been Broadway transfers with shows such as Hamilton and Kinky Boots selling out theatres for months and months on end. However there have been a few standout British musical sensations such as Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and Six The Musical and now it looks like we have another home grown musical set to become the talk of the UK theatre scene.
& Juliet written by Schitt’s Creek writer and producer David West Read, and is directed by Luke Sheppard (In The Heights) and featuring the music of producer Max Martin, tells the story of what if Juliet had decided not to kill herself at the end of Romeo and Juliet.
The premise is an interesting one, and will create a Juliet that is strong and knows her own mind, who runs away from Verona with her friends to Paris to mourn the loss of her true love. Leading the cast with her killer vocals is Hamilton star Miriam-Teak Lee, with Bat Out of Hell’s Jordan Luke Gage, playing Romeo. West End stalwarts Oliver Tompsett (Kinky Boots, We Will Rock You, Rock of Ages) and Cassidy Janson (Man of La Mancha, Chess, Beautiful) play Mr and Mrs Shakespeare, and Melanie La Barrie (Wicked) will play Nurse. The cast also includes Olivier Award winner David Bedella (In The Heights, Rocky Horror Show), Arun Blair-Mangat (Leave to Remain, Angels in America, In The Heights, Kinky Boots), Grace Mouat (Six The Musical), Jocasta Almgill (Dreamgirls, In The Heights) and Christopher Parkinson (Kinky Boots). Having been lucky enough to see many of these performers in other shows, there is no doubt we are in for a wonderful show.
Many people will think that they don’t know Max Martin’s work, however when you look at the songs he has produced there are so many songs that everyone will know. Martin has produced songs for Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Brittany Spears and Katy Perry to name but a few. We already know that “It’s My Life” and “Roar” are going to be featured thanks to performances at events such as London Pride, Manchester Pride, and West End Live. It is really exciting to be seeing a show where you don’t know all the songs that are going to be featured, because at the time of publication the full song listings for the musical have yet to be released.
I can’t wait to see the show when it hits Manchester later this month, and I’m sure it will become a regular fixture to my London rota later in the year.
Whilst we wait for the story of Juliet to continue, why not check out the performances from this year’s West End Live
& Juliet runs from September 10 until October 12 at Opera House Manchester, before transferring to London’s Shaftesbury Theatre from November 2 and is currently booking until March 2020. Tickets for Opera House Manchester are available from the theatre website and check out the official & Juliet website for London tickets.
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