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Bonnie and Clyde (streaming) - musical review

The infamous dynamic duo fuelled by criminal spirit are back, bringing the hit musical to your screens as Bonnie and Clyde is now available to stream. Developing a passion for fighting the law, a dramatic run of events takes them both on gun-wielding adventures as the small-town pair find their unorthodox way of making it big.

Bonnie Parker (Frances Mayli McCann) craves her name in lights; to be a star with the world beneath her feet. Clyde Barrow (Jeremy Jordan) too desires to have himself branded across the front page of the papers, but he is tainted with his ambition of causing trouble along the way. As a renowned offender from a young age, he couldn't be further from the lifetime lover Bonnie imagined for herself. Still, unexpected adoration is the product of their meeting and dreams begin manifesting into unruly plans. Clyde's perceived power and dominance are wavered with Bonnie: he has met his feisty, fiery match.

Introduced to the pair via their childhood selves, audiences get the first glimpse of the infant innocence that fades with their big perceptions of the future. Shrouded by The Great Depression, 1930s America was rife with struggle, so Clyde and his brother, Buck (George Maguire) began their bouts of petty crime to get by with a little thrill. Soon upping their game and landing themselves requiring a prison break, the toxicity begins to elevate, with a constant need to escape and evade capture.

From the moment they meet in adulthood, the chemistry between the titular characters reveals the compelling tensions that drive them together; sensuality dripping from every line. Frances perfectly embodies Bonnie's doubt and knowing of the dangers involved with falling for Clyde yet the irresistibility that lingers, while Jeremy creates a haunting connection, both of which successfully reel in the audience (as did their adored real-life images) despite their horrific acts as outlaws. Ted Hinton (Liam Tamne) finds it evermore difficult to separate his work with the authorities and longs to be with Bonnie though her love is unfaltered elsewhere.

In addition, their families provide a rich dynamic to the plot. Natalie McQueen as Blanche Barrow, Buck's wife, gives a playful response to the difficult situations, yet an underlying concern. The mothers - Julie Yammanee and Gillian Bevan as Emma Parker and Cumie Barrow respectively - display their torn outlooks, desperately wanting to love their children but failing to condone their harsh actions. Notably, Julie is cast excellently to genuinely appear related to Bonnie. Delving into the complexities in the thoughts behind the irresistible violent addictions, humanity shines through the main characters when facing the debate of their loyalty: whether it lies with family or each other.

For a show centred around weapons, there are not too many gunshots (and happen fairly expectantly so not a surprise), noted for those who are not a fan of the sudden noises. Slick choreography and direction by Nick Winston keeps the action moving engagingly and allows for a lot to be told through just a little physical staging. An ingeniously crafted score by Frank Wildhorn, with lyrics by Don Black, compliments the intensity of the piece. You are guaranteed to seek it out to listen again after seeing the performance, though nothing beats it live. 'Picture Show' depicts the transition from young Bonnie and Clyde to growing up and developing the unchanged ideas that were once just budding, followed by 'This World Will Remember Me', later shifted to 'Us' by the end of the act. Songs such as 'You're Goin' Back to Jail' at the hair salon bring a bout of humour, giving a twisted feel to the narrative that makes it all the more absorbing. By getting a share of various rendition compositions, from punchy to enchantingly woven, audiences get a taste of the multifaceted versatility of the cast and their ability to adjust their tone to blend seamlessly with one another, whatever the vocal construction. Even a touch of gospel, led by Trevor Dion Nicholas feels natural with the rock and roll theatrics. When the heightened situation reaches the pre-interval climax, 'Raise a Little Hell' is a striking catalyst for the trouble ahead.

Despite a slower start to the second act, the show's captivating essence returns swiftly. 'Dyin' Ain't So Bad' reveals almost a sense of poignancy at the realisation of their fate, and Bonnie beautifully illustrates this in the ballad. While not exactly pictured in account of the terror their defiant ways truly conveyed, this staging is a fascinating analysis, and simultaneously a highly enjoyable production.

Although you may wonder how such a complicated and tragic ill-fated romance with a side of criminality can be turned into a musical, Bonnie and Clyde proves it absolutely can. Continuing to write their names into history books, one poem at a time, some of the past's most renowned heroically dubbed villains are still getting the spotlight they set out for, even today.


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