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Review | Bonnie & Clyde Original West End Cast Recording | Album Review

Bonnie & Clyde has been a show that has divided opinion like no other. For me it is by far one of my favourite shows of the year. Still, do we need a new cast recording when we already have the Broadway one with the incomparable Jeremy Jordan? I wasn’t convinced… well until I listened to the London cast recording!

Like many pro-shots, most cast recordings fail when they fail to capture the magic of the theatrical experience. Some shows attempt to get around this by using live performance audio directly from the soundboard. Bonnie & Clyde however don’t need to rely on such methods, with the cast recording making you feel like you are in the theatre, despite being recorded in a studio. This is helped by including no less than 7 reprises which are littered through the 28-track recording. The ‘Prologue’ and ‘Entr’acte’ instrumentals give the same buzz as when you are sat in the theatre waiting for the action to begin!

Jordan Luke Gage gives a career defining performance as Clyde Barrow. His menace is captured perfectly from his first appearance in ‘Picture Show’, with orchestrations changing when he sings. It is of course his rendition of the iconic ‘Raise A Little Hell’ that is the absolute highlight of the recording. This came as no surprise to me, having witnessed him pour his heart and soul into singing this from the front row of the Garrick earlier this year.

The dark wouldn’t work unless juxtaposed with light. Gage adds both tenderness and relatability to the character in songs like ‘Bonnie’ and ‘When I Drive’, making his portrayal that more believable. Perhaps the most enjoyable light-hearted moment on the recording is ‘You’re Goin’ Back To Jail’ where the girlfriends hilariously compare what it’s like having their partners in jail, whilst persuading Buck to turn himself in!

Of course, it wouldn’t be Bonnie & Clyde without Bonnie, and Frances Mayli McConn delivers as Bonnie Parker. Her stand out moment is actually in the duet ‘You Love Who You Love’ with Jodie Steele as Blanche Barrow. Their harmonies are utterly sublime and it’s a track that I can’t stop playing. It would be criminal to mention Steele without mentioning her mesmerising performance of ‘Now That’s What I Call A Dream.’ She conveys such an array of emotions,

effortlessly making the listener take in each and every word she so beautifully sings.

With the Bonnie & Clyde fandom being so vocal in supporting the alternates, a light is shone on Barney Wilkinson & Lauren Jones, with their stunning performance of ‘Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad’ being included as a bonus track. They give a unique interpretation to the characters, which really is a pleasure to listen to and dissect. Having already had the privilege of seeing Jones perform as Bonnie, I will treasure this recording as a reminder of her mind-blowing performance. Whilst it is wonderful to have the two versions to compare, it is impossible to pick a favourite and I will

happily refuse to do so.

The Bonnie & Clyde London cast recording is a reminder of how fantastic Frank Wildhorn & Don Black’s score is. I will relish now being able to listen to it whenever I want, as well the shows legion of loyal fans.

Note: I was gifted advanced access to the cast return for an honest review

Photo Credit: DLAP Records Ltd

Here is a sneak preview of Jordan Luke Gage singing 'Raise a Little Hell'


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