Monday 14 October 2019

& Juliet At The Manchester Opera House Review*

Some bloggers earn amazing amounts of money through their blog, some work with the biggest beauty brands in the world, and some just plod along doing okay, doing their thing and just seeing what comes their way like me. And I'm totally okay with that. But recently I've had a few opportunities which have honestly made my year. I'm not afraid to say that the first half of 2019 was quiet blog-wise, but because we'd just got our puppy Bear, I kind of didn't have time to go chasing opportunities so I reached a point where I was okay with it maybe just being a hobby again. Something seemed to change towards the end of Summer though and I'm so grateful for it because it's only made me even more motivated and made me realise how passionate I am about this blog. One of the amazing opportunities I was approached with recently was to be invited to go and see the new musical & Juliet at the Manchester Opera House, and as I'm sure you can imagine, being the huge theatre fan I am, I jumped at the chance! To some it might not seem like a huge deal, but to me, it's something I can be so so proud of and look back on one day and smile.
& Juliet stage at the Manchester Opera House
I've seen quite the variety of musicals now from Wicked to Kinky Boots, Hamilton to Heathers and most recently Come From Away and Waitress, but none of those are exactly BRAND NEW/never been done anywhere else before so with & Juliet I had very little idea what I was going to see. In case you haven't heard of & Juliet, let me tell you a little bit about it before I get onto my thoughts of the show though. 

'The most famous love story of all time. Remixed. What if Juliet's famous ending was really just her beginning? What if she decided to choose her own fate? Join Juliet on this sensational journey of self-discovery and second chances, told through some of the most glittering pop anthems of the last three decades. & Juliet is the hilariously irreverent new musical that proves when it comes to love, there's always life after Romeo.'

The first thing I have to talk about with this show is the cast. They are INSANE. As soon as Oliver Tompsett arrives on stage as William Shakespeare you feel his presence and he starts the show with a bang with 'Larger Than Life' by the Backstreet Boys. Yep, there's a lot of Backstreet Boys music in this and I AM HERE FOR IT. Not keen on the idea of Juliet giving up her whole life for Romeo, William's wife, Anne Hathaway played by Cassidy Janson who puts on a stellar performance throughout, arrives next and comes up with a new plot, what about if Juliet lived? From here we meet Juliet played by the AMAZING Miriam-Teak-Lee who steals each scene she's in and we see what her life might have gone on to become without Romeo in the picture. It's hard to really explain much else about the show without totally spoiling it, but it's a show everyone needs to see for themselves. Aswell as these 3 cast members, there's also David Bedella, Arun Blair-Mangat, Jordan Luke Gage, Melanie La Barrie and Tim Mahendran who all deserve a mention, but really the whole ensemble are outstanding. I was in awe of every person on the stage who clearly all adore the show and are so passionate about the story.
collage - production shots of & Juliet
I've already briefly mentioned the music but this musical actually features many modern hits from Max Martin, I couldn't believe how many had been written by the same person! Domino by Jessie J, Overprotected by Britney Spears, Confident by Demi Lovato, Teenage Dream by Katy Perry, It's My Life by Bon Jovi and That's The Way It Is by Celine Dion, though there are of course loads more I could mention. I had no idea how these songs would make their way into the story but they do and it works! It's a classic jukebox musical but not overly cheesy. It's taken a story we've all heard a million times and added a really unique twist.

I also have to add the staging and choreography really make this show stand out too. The choreography was flawless, each member of the cast getting their chance to shine and no-one being overshadowed, and at times it really felt like a concert. Whilst the staging might not be the most complicated, the costumes and effects are some of the best I've seen in a show - the lighting, the double revolve, everything about it comes together to form one incredible show.
collage - outside of Manchester Opera House, Miriam Teak Lee at the bows, Oliver Tompsett & Cassidy Janson at the bows and song list
I honestly had the best night seeing & Juliet and I can't wait for it to arrive in London. I'm already just waiting for when I can book tickets, and I hope it's a show that runs and runs in the West End. I can see it being the next Kinky Boots, a fun filled show that leaves you feeling on such a high by the end that you can't help but keep going back. So many people have already made repeat visits and if I lived closer, I would have done the same. The soundtrack drops on November 20th so if you want a listen of all the songs included, keep an eye out for that, and the show is playing from the 2nd of November at the Shaftesbury Theatre if you want to see it for yourself which I really recommend you do. It's pure joy!

Have you got any musicals lined up? Do you think & Juliet is a show you'd enjoy?

*Gifted tickets but all views are my own

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Serena Reidy said...

I really want to see & Juliet! I love the story of Romeo & Juliet and Max Martin has produced some of my favourite songs!

jennyinneverland said...

It's amazing how things can turn on their head in the blogging world. Glad to hear you've had some fab opportunities - you deserve them! This sounds like an AMAZING show. I've never heard of it before but I love the concept of the storyline and turning one of the most famous stories ever completely on it's head!


Heather Nixon said...

I would love to see this show x

Tiffany Timms said...

I can't believe how many songs have come from the same person! I'm obsessed with listening to them all again now haha xx

Tiffany Timms said...

Thank you so much Jenny! It's such an up and down thing blogging isn't it. Anything involving musicals is a winner for me so this opportunity was too good to miss! xx

Tiffany Timms said...

I couldn't recommend it enough, so so good x

Daisy said...

I desperately want to see this! I love seeing Shakespeare especially modern or different takes on his original plays! This sounds like so much fun and definitely up my street!

Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

Sophie said...

I love the sound of this show and the modern take on such a classic. It sounds like you had a great time x


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