Why & Juliet is worth the hype
| By Jade Ali
(Updated on Nov 21, 2019)
After having the privilege of not just following the & Juliet journey from workshops back in March which got me very excited about the show, getting to ask the leading lady Miriam-Teak Lee questions before it all began, to seeing snippets of rehearsals followed by a cast Q&A, but getting to see this all-new musical in its Manchester run and in previews at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre, it’s fair to say they have me certified as a fan. The theatre scene has been simply buzzing with hype for this new show and if you’re yet to see it, you’re probably wondering why it’s getting so much hype and is it worth it? Well, I’m here to tell you why you need to get your tickets for & Juliet now and why it is definitely worth the hype and then some.
Its got the feel-good factor!
There are many different types of shows and musicals in the West End alone that will leave you with a whole range of emotions. Some musicals can have you feeling a rollercoaster of emotions on their own (I’m looking at you Waitress). However, if you could pin just one feeling that you associate with & Juliet then it would without a doubt be happiness. There’s something truly special about a show that transports you into a special bubble where the outside world doesn’t exist and everything else just melts away, if only for a couple of hours. Not only did I feel like I was about to burst with joy but glancing around I could see huge smiles shining from everyone in the audience. The energy in that room at the Shaftesbury Theatre needs to be bottled up because it is pure, unadulterated bliss! & Juliet is a perfect marriage of pop music and musical theatre and you don’t get much happier than that.
They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy & Juliet tickets and that’s essentially the same thing. Intoxicating joy in the form of a pop-tastic musical!
The greatest pop songs ever!
Okay, this opinion is possibly up for debate but, hear me out! These Max Martin songs are so diverse and all equally brilliant, and whether they’re your favourites or not, there is no denying that they have been some of the biggest songs of all time. Now, they’ve been given a whole new lease of life! If you already love them, then be prepared to love them even more! ‘Baby, One More Time’, originally by Britney Spears, is a timeless hit (there’s no denying this. It’s a fact!) but the & Juliet version sang in a different key by leading lady Miriam-Teak Lee is spectacular in a way you could never have imagined.
That’s what is so brilliant about & Juliet, yes, it’s a jukebox musical and Max Martin’s discography is some of the cheesiest pop there is, so if you’ve not seen it, you’re probably wondering how these songs fit into a Shakespeare style story… Well, this new British musical by David West Read has cleverly intertwined the songs with the story in a way that can only be described as pure genius. Part of the fun of the show is seeing the way the numbers fit in and the laughter and appreciation it emits from the audience.
The soundtrack is simply epic and so much so that, before previews of this show even come to an end, the Original West End cast recording will be released. The album is released on 15 November and you can get it here.
Representation is important!
This musical really does have it all! Everything you want in a show; brilliant songs, an incredible story, a phenomenal cast and diversity and acceptance. & Juliet is the musical for all! Not only does the story take the biggest love story of all time, the tragedy that is Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, and spin it on its head, but it shows us a whole range of love stories from diverse, completely fleshed out, wonderful characters. The characters are young and old, relationships based on the most popular fictional romance ever and the real-life inspired relationship of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway. Amongst these relationships is a queer relationship; and it’s everything you could wish for in regard to LGBT+ representation. The show explores queer characters, pansexuality and gender identity. It’s both delicate and beautiful – truly heartfelt – and is another element of what sets this fantastic show apart from others.
As well as LGBT+ representation, this show has a brilliant cast that are diverse in race and has as many talented male performers as it does female. Audiences can really see themselves represented up on that stage, whether it’s someone who is POC or LGBT+, a voice is given to everyone and that feeling of acceptance at & Juliet is another element of why you leave so happy. You can find happiness, acceptance and a safe place when watching this show – I can’t express just how special that makes this show!
The wait for & Juliet seems like it lasted forever and the hype built up more and more over time, but it is finally here in the West End! The hype really is real, so be sure to get your tickets for & Juliet before the rave reviews come in the biggest waves post-press night and this show becomes a smash hit sell-out!