On the evening of Saturday the 23rd of November, I went to the incredible new show called &Juliet. This show is already in one of my top 5 musicals of all time! As soon as it started I knew this show was going to be special – I got the same goosebumpy feelings that I got when I saw Phantom for the first time. I adored it from start to finish! It’s a reimagining of the classic Romeo and Juliet with a collection of some of the biggest pop songs in recent history; featuring songs from Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry and many more! This was such a feel-good musical which everyone should go and see!
First up we have Miriam-Teak Lee who played Juliet. I adored her! She was amazing in this! This was the first time I had seen Miriam-Teak in something and I was blown away! She is a real powerhouse with great stage presence! Her vocals as I said are incredible! Think my favourite of her songs is either ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ by Kelly Clarkson or ‘Confident’ by Demi Lovato as they were on a different level, but all of the songs she sang were amazing! Her voice is so smooth which makes hearing it live incredible! She is also a great actress! I really enjoyed her scenes with Jordan who plays Romeo! I thought they had great chemistry on stage in scenes together, I especially enjoyed their duet mashup of Problem( Ariana Grande) and I Can’t Feel My Face (The Weekend), I thought those songs and the vocals went really well together. I also enjoyed her scenes and onstage friendships with April/Anne played by Cassidy Janson, May played by Arun Blair-Mangat and Nurse Angelique played by Melanie La Barrie, I thought they looked like they were having the time of their lives up on that stage together which made you want to get up and join them! Overall I LOVED Miriam-Teak as Juliet, she was incredible and you should all go and see her ASAP!
Next up we have Cassidy Janson as Anne Hathaway/April. I really liked her character! Anne is Shakespeare’s most famous wife who is the brains behind Juliet not dying at the end of the play, she takes it upon herself to make a new adventure for Juliet and upon doing so she inserts herself into the story in the character of April. I found the character really funny and perky, a lot of her characteristics reminded me of Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect). I really enjoyed her scenes with Oliver who plays William, they had a really fun onstage relationship! I loved the way they sang and incorporated the song ‘I Want It That’ into the musical; I thought they sang it really well and comedically which sums up their onstage relationship. Cassidy also had a great job which shone through in songs such as Domino, Blow and That’s The Way It Is. I also really enjoyed her scenes with Miriam-Teak, it was a fun sisterly bond which was nice to see instead of girls being pit against each other. Overall I really enjoyed Cassidy’s character, I found it really fun and happy.
Following Cassidy we have Oliver Tompsett who plays William Shakespeare, this was another fun role. Like Cassidy he made me laugh throughout the show. He and Cassidy were great and they had this really fun chemistry as I mentioned above! One of my favourite songs was the ‘I Want It That Way’ reprise, even listening to it on the soundtrack it makes me laugh, especially the lyric “believe when I say, I want Anne Hathaway” – makes me laugh every time! I really enjoyed his friendship with Jordan’s Romeo, the childish best bro friendship was fun to see, I liked and enjoyed their parts together in the song ‘It’s My Life’. Like everyone else they looked like they were having the time of their lives up on the stage. Another moment of Oliver’s I really enjoyed watching was the end song ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ as it was such a feel-good number to witness especially as Oliver sang it so well! I really wish it wasn’t the last song because it was one of my overall favourite moments in the show! Overall I really enjoyed Oliver as Shakespeare, he made me laugh throughout the show!
Next up we have Romeo himself, Jordan Luke Gage, this was another really likeable and enjoyable role and casting. Jordan had a really strong voice which straight away was showcased in the song ‘It’s My Life’ which he performed amazingly! It was a memorable performance to witness and a great way to end the first act! One of my favourite Jordan moments in act 2 was the mashup with Miriam-Teak of ‘Problem’/’Can’t Feel My Face’, I thought their voices blended really nicely together as well as their great onstage chemistry. Lastly, I really liked his friendship with Oliver’s Shakespeare, whilst Shakespeare wasn’t always the best influence on Romeo I enjoyed their brotherly bond. Overall I found his Romeo really fun and cheeky which was great to watch.
Moving on we have Nurse Angelique played by Melanie La Barrie. Her character is like a mother to Juliet and they have a really close bond as characters. Angelique isn’t the biggest supporter of letting Juliet go to Paris but is persuaded and goes along with it. Melanie had a great strong voice which was showcased in her songs which consist of a ‘Teenage Dream’/’Break Free’ mashup with Lance played by David Bedella, these two had a real fun and cheeky onstage relationship which was highlighted in this mashup and throughout the show. I also loved her bond and closeness with Miriam-Teak’s Juliet who she had several duets with such as ‘Oops I Did It Again’ and ‘F**king Perfect’, their voices went nicely together which made it a pleasure to listen to. Overall I really enjoyed Melanie’s character and thought she was a great addition to the cast.
We can’t talk about Angelique and not talk about Lance played by David Bedella, David played Angelique’s love interest and also Francois’ dad. This was another fun role which made me laugh in the scenes he was in. As I said above he and Melanie had a great onstage bond/chemistry showcased in their mashup. David had quite a few songs which consisted of a boyband with Oliver, Jordan, Dillon, Arun and himself singing ‘Everybody’ by the Backstreet Boys which as you can imagine was a really fun number to watch. I liked his scenes with Dillon who was on for Francois that night, they had a good and believable bond as father and son. Overall I enjoyed his character.
Following from Lance we have his son Francois played by understudy Dillon Scott-Lewis. This was another rally enjoyable to watch…I especially enjoyed his onstage romance with Arun’s character May. I found it a very good LGBTQ+ portrayal as well as it being heartwarming to see the evolution of the relationship. They had great onstage chemistry which helped the story as well as their great vocals which were highlighted in the songs ‘I Kissed A Girl’, ‘Whatya Want From Me’ and ‘The Shape of My Heart’. I also enjoyed his scenes with Miriam-Teak’s Juliet, who Francois formed a relationship with to stop his father (David) finding out that he’s gay. They had a duet in the form of the song ‘Overprotected’ which was another song I enjoyed watching as their voices blended really well with each other. Despite being the understudy Dillon did a great job in the role!
Finally, we have Arun Blair-Mangat who played May, a gender-neutral friend of Juliet and love interest for Francois. We see a lot of Gay/Lesbian characters in musical theatre now but barely any non-binary/gender non-conforming characters; they make note of this within the show which I found progressive. May was a really fun character, I really enjoyed their friendship with Juliet, it was a fun and happy friendship which I suspect is mirrored off-stage. I adored their version of ‘I’m Not A Girl/Not Yet A Woman’, it was a real heart-warming moment from Mays perspective. Arun also has a cute relationship with Dillion’s character Francois which as I said was a very good portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters/relationships. At points, they reminded me of what I imagine Angel and Collins from RENT if they had met when they were younger as it was a very healthy and heartwarming portrayal. They had a couple of songs together but by far my favourite was ‘I Kissed A Girl’ as it was just so positive and had a big production value. Overall May was a fun and upbeat character and Arun did a great job at portraying them.
Show Me Love/Journey to Paris: this was such a bright and colourful number with great vocals.
Blow/Confident: These numbers had great energy and were both show stoppers because they were both super fun.
Oops, I Did It Again: Fun within the context and who doesn’t love a bit of Britney Spears.
It’s My Life: a perfect spectacle of an Act 1 closer.
Since You’ve Been Gone: Love the song anyway and this show gave me a new love for it, I loved how sassy Miriam-Teak was during it.
Stronger: This was a real turning point for Juliet where she became even more fierce than she already was.
Roar: This was a KILLER performance from everyone and a visual feast to watch.
I Want It That Way (Reprise): Puns, I adore the puns, it’s been almost a month since I saw it and the lyric “Believe when I say, I want Anne Hathaway” STILL makes me laugh.
From the moment the first song started, I knew it was going to be special as I got the goosebumps that I only get when I see Phantom. Boy was I right. It is truly a rare gem of a show where everything falls into place and is perfect. I didn’t feel there were any weak plots, moments or performers. The entire cast main and ensemble were amazing, they all looked like they were having the time of their lives on the stage. The score worked amazingly with the story, you never questioned any of the music that they used. This show is really something special. I worried about it not living up to the hype it was getting but it 100% excelled my expectations!
Everyone needs to get tickets for this musical!! You won’t want to miss it!
You can get tickets from £22 here: Get &Juliet tickets here!!
YOU CAN GET THE SOUNDTRACK HERE; https://amzn.to/3bndYbC
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So happy I’ve booked to return in the New Year!!