& Juliet – review

Shaftesbury Theatre
Review by: Nicole V Sylvester
Published: Thursday, 5th December 2019, 12:35am
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& Juliet is the latest in the current trend of ‘remixing’ a classic Shakespearean tale. It’s the same old story, of sorts, but brought bang up to date by writer David West Read. The citizens of Verona, clad in a mashup of Elizabethan and modern-day dress – (think doublets and denim, ruffs and baseball jackets) burst onto the stage in a blaze of light, colour and song – yes! It’s a musical… and a comedy, chock full of modern pop songs and jokes, slotted cleverly and aptly, into the story.

First props have to go to the leading lady, Juliet played by Miriam-Teak Lee. This girl can sannnnnng, can she sing! Her voice is powerful and emotional and her stage presence, strong.

We meet William Shakespeare and his wife Anne at the beginning, and they are writing the play together as it unfolds on stage.  Anne misses her busy playwright and stamping her will all over his latest play is her ploy to bring them closer together. To William’s chagrin, Anne writes herself into the play as Juliet’s best friend and proceeds to wreak havoc on the storyline.

Right off the get go, first props have to go to the leading lady, Juliet played by Miriam-Teak Lee. This girl can sannnnnng, can she sing! Her voice is powerful and emotional and her stage presence, strong. She’s a modern independent Juliet while Romeo is a bit of a woose. When Romeo dies instead of killing herself, she runs off to Paris with her friends for a bit of an adventure.

By the end you wonder if the Bard would be turning in his grave or singing along with the audience, ‘cos its cheesy as hell but fun, well-acted and produced

Fitting for a West End musical, & Juliet is full of bounce -joyful song and dance routines, fluid sets and sparkle – you really feel the energy of the talented cast throughout. Special Afridiziak shout out goes to Trinidadian actress/singer Melanie La Barrie who plays Nurse (in her natural accent) and Cassidy Janson who plays Anne. Both amazing singers and the glue that holds the production together.



By the end you wonder if the Bard would be turning in his grave or singing along with the audience, ‘cos its cheesy as hell but fun, well-acted and produced.  Bordering on panto, it’s a great evening out for all the family – a perfect Christmassy outing. Shakespeare purists, steer clear – everyone else give it a go.

NEED TO KNOW: & Juliet is at the Shaftesbury Theatre until 30 May 2020 | See listing for more info