Reviewed; Bonnie & Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde as a musical – it just makes so much sense!

Making this well-known story into a musical was an absolutely genius move! The story is of course infamous, but then layer on top a stellar soundtrack with big elaborate dance numbers all done to catchy beats capturing the essence of the music of the time, just adds so much depth to an already gripping tale.

In case you need a little re-cap; two small-town kids from the middle of nowhere became the biggest folk heroes in all America. They craved adventure—and each other.

PICTURED ABOVE: Katie Tonkinson and Alex James-Hatton – Bonnie and Clyde | Credit Richard Davenport

Katie Tonkinson and Alex James-Hatton – Bonnie and Clyde | Credit Richard Davenport

It is a capturing tale, following the star-crossed lovers as they set aside their moral compasses and turn to a life of crime, partly to get by during a hard time but mostly due to the thrill of the adventure. We witness the highs and lows of a community being inflicted by the hardships of life, battling with trying to maintain a moral and good lifestyle.  You are taken on an emotional journey as you become invested in the characters, instilling an inner conflict as you oddly find yourself rooting for multiple individuals on either side of the law, each for a different reason and despite some of their unfavourable life choices.

The cast was outstanding, portraying all the eclectic personalities that make up a small town community. Not only did they wow us with the high energy song and dance numbers, but there was humour throughout the production that had us laughing out loud, which I certainly wasn’t expecting!

Katie Tonkinson and Alex James-Hatton – Bonnie and Clyde | Credit Richard Davenport

Alex James-Hatton – Clyde | Credit Richard Davenport

The pairing of Katie Tonkinson and Alex James-Hayton as Bonnie and Clyde was perfect, their on stage chemistry really drew you into the romance and obsession this couple felt for each other. Alex James-Hayton delivers a charismatic performance as Clyde, the bad boy that should be steered clear of yet offers intrigue and mystery. He gives us some spectacular show-stopping moments as he belts out absolute power ballads and then at times creates a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere on stage, showing off a range of talent. Katie Tonkinson creates a sassy and sexy character as she takes to the stage as Bonnie, blinded by love and an ambition to be famous. She oozes attitude and confidence as she effortlessly delivers note perfect performances building up a strong formidable character, offering her fair share of well timed wit and humour as she ignores advice and follows her heart.

Alex James-Hatton and Sam Ferriday – Clyde and Buck | Credit Richard Davenport

The chemistry didn’t end there though. You really felt the family love between Clyde and his brother Buck Barrow, played by Sam Ferriday. The two took to stage and had some truly brilliant moments, there is one duet where they both gave us a really dynamic performance, at the end it felt like the crowd was going to practically leap out of their seats for an early standing ovation.

Sam Ferriday and Catherine Tyldesley – Buck and Blanche | Credit Richard Davenport

Catherine Tyldesley plays Buck’s wife Blanche Barrow, doing her best to keep her husband on the straight and narrow, and away from the influence of his brother. She gives us beautiful performance as the songs narrate her emotional journey and delivers some perfectly time comedy moments. She is a character you can’t help but like as she tries to steer everyone onto the righteous path, but has an overwhelming devotion and love for her husband that leads her skirting the edge of what is right.

A special mention needs to be given to Jaz Ellington who plays the Preacher. As he offers his sermon to the congregation I witnessed a true powerhouse performance, he really commanded the stage, with the smooth tones of his voice washing over us, it quite literally gave me goosebumps!

Nate Landkroner, Sam Ferriday, Catherine Tyldesley and Andrew Berlin – Buck and Blanche and Officers | Credit Richard Davenport

I enjoyed this show so much, it is a truly brilliant production and felt like such a unique experience with it’s enchanting take on a well-known story. Don’t miss your opportunity, you can see this at the Mayflower Theatre until the 6th April.

Words by Vicky Anscombe

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