Bonnie & Clyde The Musical : Filmed Live

Bonnie and Clyde fans rejoice! The wait is no more. After two years of anticipation for a filmed release of arguably one of the biggest theatrical events of 2022, the film pro-shot of Bonnie and Clyde In Concert has arrived. 

Before I start, I must confess that I had no knowledge of this production prior to its arrival in the UK; however, after witnessing the concert production at Drury Lane, myself and the London theatre community discovered what a true hidden gem this musical is. It then went on to transfer to the Arts Theatre, where it gained great success although largely overlooked by the Oliviers. After the most recent closure of the UK tour, of which all sympathies and thoughts go out to the cast and creative team, the pro-shot is finally here. I will ruin all suspense by saying that this is an expertly filmed piece which captures the raw energy while also adding a cinematic flair to proceedings.

After a title sequence that depicts the style of film noir, (a neat touch), directors Nick Winston and Pro-Shot helmsman, Ben Crabb expertly lead us through the early years of Bonnie and Clyde from their chance meeting, rise through the criminal underworld and tragic ending. 

Despite being marketed as a concert, it is safe to say that this was an understatement. Despite only using a fraction of the Drury Lane’s stage, Winston's production is a feast for the eyes, and this is only amplified in the pro shot. Its atmospheric lighting and impeccable costume design give a great sense of period and lends itself easily to the genre of cinema. The story of Bonnie and Clyde has been told on screen several times before, so it is easy to see why this pro-shot succeeds naturally.

Throughout the years, I have often found pro-shoots to be an alienating genre. Theatre is an immersive art form and I have believed that watching proceedings on a screen, really emphasises the artifice of the story and takes one out of the narrative. I am happy to report that Winston and co have gone down the route of Disney +’s recording of Hamilton by using the camera as another way of drawing you into the performances. This is mostly seen in Jeremy Jordan’s soulful and rich performance of 'Bonnie' and Francis Mayli McCann’s seductive 'How About a Dance'. Both of these songs capture our two characters at their most vulnerable, and the decision to use close up gives a greater sense of intimacy. I must also credit the way that the film highlights the brilliant projections that really brings home the sense of period. This really enhances the space and gives depth to the staging.

I cannot end this review without highlighting the two dynamite performances by Jeremy Jordan and Francis Mayli McCann. Making his West End Musical debut, Jordan has an excellent stage presence, and it is evident in this recording how enraptured the audience are by him. Despite a flawed character, Jordan brings a boyish charm and an important sense of a natural comedy that makes you root for him. 

However, I believe the star turn to be McCann of whose task was an unfathomable one; ‘’Make your stage debut in a role most famously played by Laura Osnes’’ is no easy feat, but McCann delivers a star making turn as Bonnie. Not only does she give stand out musical performances, especially in 'Dying Aint So Bad', but it’s clear to see in this pro-shot, just how effortless she is as a performer.

With two dynamite lead roles, expert direction and a perfect sense of film noir, Bonnie and Clyde Live in Concert brings the best of both mediums together, to perfectly capture one of the theatrical treats of 2022. 'The World Will Remember Us' is sung by Bonnie and Clyde at the end of Act 1. Not only a great showstopping number, but by the evidence of this piece, it was a promise delivered.

You can download this filmed version of Bonnie & Clyde here:

Review written by Alex Farley


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