This review of & Juliet has been a long time coming, because I actually saw this brand new musical when it premiered in Manchester back in September. However, it’s since moved to the West End, where it is absolutely killing it and has won 6 WhatsOnStage awards. So better late than never, I’m now sharing my thoughts on the hottest show in town.
& Juliet is what is classed as a jukebox musical, featuring existing popular songs from the composer Max Martin. Which means songs such as Britney’s “Baby One More Time” and several Backstreet Boys bangers are in the mix. The concept is a bit more unique though – it’s the “what if” story of Juliet, if instead of killing herself at the end of Romeo and Juliet she’d gone on a road trip to Paris with her friends.
Here’s why I loved & Juliet:
1. The Music
Even if you haven’t seen the show, you should check out the soundtrack on Spotify because it’s fantastic! Some of my favourite songs to blast out include the show’s versions of Blow (originally by Kesha), Confident (Demi Lovato) and It’s My Life (Bon Jovi). And as a huge Backstreet Boys Fan I thoroughly approve of a huge 6 songs being featured! The way the chosen songs and their lyrics are tied into the story is both clever and really adds to the fun of this show.
2. The Positive Message
The overriding message of this show is female empowerment, captured perfectly by the moment Juliet belts out Katy Perry’s “Roar” at its conclusion. It’s also very woke, and the perfect show for today’s climate. (And I think Shakespeare would approve!)
3. It Looks Fantastic
There’s a reason this show won awards for set, costume, graphic and lighting design. It’s visually gorgeous, and has an aesthetic all of it’s own, merging Elizabethan elements with contemporary styling. It’s colourful and glittery and dazzling – what’s not to love?!
4. The Joy
This is a show of pure indulgent joy, and I challenge anyone not to come out smiling (unless they’re a hater of Backstreet Boys songs of course!) The music is joyful, but the script is also silly and hilarious, and the story is great fun. It’s not a show to take too seriously, but I had such a great time!
All in all, & Juliet is the perfect show to see if you need a little pick-me-up, and I’d absolutely recommend it!