Social Media

Bonnie and Clyde London Cast Recording Review

Reviewed by Bethany

Disclaimer: the  album was gifted in return for a review

Like many, I felt truly saddened to see the closure of Bonnie and Clyde in London’s Garrick Theatre so when I heard that a London cast recording was coming I was overjoyed. I’ve had the Broadway recording on repeat for months however I do think this UK offering has a unique charm that brings a fresh new experience for theatre fans.

The recording begins with the show’s prologue followed by the opening number Picture Show. In this song, we are introduced to a young Bonnie and Clyde who share their hopes and dreams with the listener; to be famous as an actress and an outlaw like Billie the Kid respectively. This is then followed by the reprise of this song which features some early dialogue between the characters. The inclusion of introductory dialogue to a whole host of songs throughout the recording is a choice that not all musical soundtracks follow, however for me it gives a context to the songs and takes me back to the live experience of seeing the show in person. This was particularly enjoyable in the recording When I Drive as it really reinforced the strong relationship between the Barrow brothers.

Following this, we have the first offering of Jodie Sam Steele You’re Going Back to Jail. This is probably one that I would be inclined to skip on the recording as it is very context-specific, however, Steele’s vocals are as strong as you would expect and her characterisation of Blanche was as great as in the live show. God’s arms are always open is similar; touching lyrics at the opening of the number and stunning vocals from Dom Hartley-Harris but perhaps not one I’d listen to every time.

Throughout the recording, one gift that just keeps on giving is the remarkable skill set of Jordan Luke Gage as Clyde. Through his Raise a Little Hell, we hear a carefully crafted and chilling switch from a wannabe Billy the Kid to a man changed by experiences in jail to having a thirst for violence and destruction. From the opening lyrics of I can’t take no more of this, Gage adds grit to his voice and perfectly depicts the agony he has faced both physically and emotionally. This is again reinforced by the integration of dialogue in the middle section of the song. One of my favourite tracks on this album is Raise a Little Hell reprise; the harmony at the closing of this song between JLG, George Maguire and Cleve September sends shivers every time.

Frances Mayli McCann and Jordan Luke Gage. Photo by Richard Davenport.

Another favourite of mine on the album is You Love Who You Love, a stunning duet between Frances Mayli McCann (Bonnie) and Jodie Sam Steele (Blanche). Not only is the songwriting on this song just sublime, but the fresh take on it by this pair is heartwarming and different to the US recording with additional riffs and harmonies. The heart that these women put into their performance each night translates perfectly, showing the conflict the characters are going through as they realise they are powerless against their love for their problematic men.

Other honourable mentions go to How Bout a Dance and the Finale closing music, which is a beautiful piece of almost entirely instrumental music.

The last track on the album is a second recording of Dying Ain’t So Bad, recorded by alternate Bonnie and Clyde Barnie Wilkinson and Lauren Jones. I am thrilled to see the production company choosing to feature their alternates in such a way; our alternates, swings and understudies are the backbone of theatre and it is wonderful to see them finally getting credit for the work they do in features like this one and performances, for example recently at West End Live. Wilkinson and Jones are accompanied by a piano and this really allows them to show off their impeccable vocal talents.

I know for sure that this cast recording will be featuring on my most played songs this year and although some of the songs may be somewhat confusing out of context, for fans of the show this is a great cure for the post-show blues!

The Bonnie and Clyde London cast album is available to stream and download from wherever you get your music. The show is touring the UK and Ireland opening at Leicester Curve in February 2024 visit for the full tour schedule. 

George Maguire and Jodie Steele. Photo by Richard Davenport.

Post a Comment


Theme by STS