& Juliet

& Juliet is a 2019 musical featuring the music of Max Martin, with a book by David West Read. The story focuses on "what if" Juliet had not died at the end of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

& Juliet
The most famous love story of all time. Remixed.
MusicMax Martin and others
LyricsMax Martin and others
BookDavid West Read
BasisRomeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare
Premiere2019: Manchester
Productions2019 Manchester
2019 West End

PlotEdit

Act OneEdit

At the first production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the audience welcomes Shakespeare to the stage ("Larger than Life"). He introduces his wife, Anne Hathaway, who is visiting from Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the play, and explains the plot and ending of the show to her. She suggests he change the ending, wondering what would have happened if Juliet did not kill herself; Shakespeare protests ("I Want It That Way"). He lets her explain her idea for the play, which commences with Juliet waking up to find Romeo dead ("...Baby One More Time").

At Romeo's funeral, Juliet finds out that Romeo had many other relationships, with both men and women ("Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely") and Juliet's parents decide to send her to a convent. May, Juliet's non-binary friend, and Angelique, her nurse, come to her rescue, and Anne writes herself into the play as 'April', another of Juliet's friends. They decide to take a road trip to Paris ("Domino"). Anne writes Shakespeare in as a carriage driver and the road trip begins ("Show Me Love").

In France, they attend a ball which is a party for Francois. Francois' father, Lance, tells him that he must either marry or join the army; Francois argues that he doesn't wish to do either as the women of Paris are the unappealing, as is the military. Juliet and her band of friends sneak into the party ("Blow").

Francois meets May, who reveals to Juliet that they suffer from gendered concepts such as gender-specific bathrooms and gendered languages such as French ("I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"). Francois then complains about living such a stifled life, which Juliet relates to, and they begin to bond over their shared experiences ("Overprotected"). Francois is drawn to Juliet and thinks he is in love with her, and they dance together ("Confident").

Angelique and Lance are revealed to have spent the night together. She was formerly the nurse to his children, and Lance asks her to come back and live with him. Angelique wants to stay to look after Juliet, but Lance reminds her that Juliet is in her 20s and can take care of herself ("Teenage Dream/Break Free"). Angelique ultimately decides that Juliet needs her more, so she leaves Lance.

Juliet wakes up next to Francois, who proposes, and Juliet agonises about her previous relationship with Romeo ("Oops!... I Did It Again"). When her parents arrive to take her to the convent, she agrees to Francois' proposal, before discovering Angelique and Lance's previous relationship. Anne challenges Shakespeare for making Juliet get married again. She complains that he leaves her in Stratford-upon-Avon while he works in London, and accuses him of never writing happy marriages.

Shakespeare decides he needs a conflict or plot twist to add to Anne's version of the play, so has Francois and May meet again. May offers Francois a drink and Francois reveals he has just proposed; May and Francois kiss ("I Kissed a Girl").

Anne is angry to discover that Shakespeare intends to bring Romeo back. Juliet tells April that she is engaged again, only to have Romeo enter and declare he has come back for his wife ("It's My Life").

Act TwoEdit

Romeo sings "Love Me Like You Do" to Juliet and forgives her for not killing herself. She reveals to Romeo her engagement with Francois ("You Belong With Me/Since You've Been Gone").

Shakespeare tells Anne that Juliet didn't listen to Romeo's side of events, to which Anne counters that this is important to her and that she feels Shakespeare cares more about his plays than his family. She breaks his quill, meaning that neither of them can make any further changes to the story.

May grows angry at Francois for ignoring his feelings for them and for intending to marry Juliet ("Whataya Want From Me"), while Juliet complains to May that Romeo lied to her. Francois grows worried, as he hasn't told Juliet about his feelings for May.

Romeo reflects that he only ever felt valued for his looks but Juliet made him want to be a better person; Juliet nonetheless decides to be with Francois ("One More Try"). Despite this, she remains unsure of her feelings towards Romeo as she loves him but feels like she shouldn't ("Problem/Can't Feel My Face"). Francois' brother (in fact Shakespeare in disguise) invites Romeo to join his band, which is due to play at Juliet and Francois' wedding. May also joins the band. Angelique, in the meantime, proposes to Lance.

Anne discovers that Juliet is still in love with Romeo and recounts her own romance with Shakespeare ("That's the Way It Is"). At the wedding, Shakespeare, May, Francois, Lance and Romeo perform ("Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"). Juliet walks down the aisle as Francois sings "As Long as You Love Me" as his vows, but they both object to the marriage, with Francois singing "It's Gonna Be Me" to May. Romeo confesses his love to Juliet while her parents insist she returns to Verona with them, stating that they know what's best for her, which Juliet refutes ("Stronger").

Lance accepts Francois and his true love ("Shape of My Heart"), while Juliet worries that she is an obstacle to their relationship. Angelique reassures Juliet that she will never leave her ("Fuckin' Perfect") but Juliet insists Angelique goes with Lance, before deciding to be confident and take charge of her destiny ("Roar").

Shakespeare complains that Anne ruined his play, which she refutes, and he agrees as he realises that he does not want to lose her ("I Want It That Way – Reprise").

Romeo apologises to Juliet and tells her that what he wants doesn't matter; what she wants is what counts. They decide to go on a first date, as a new beginning for Juliet and Romeo. Angelique and Lance get married and the company sing "Can't Stop the Feeling!".

Cast and charactersEdit

Character Manchester/West End
Juliet Miriam-Teak Lee
Anne/April Cassidy Janson
Shakespeare Oliver Tompsett
Lance David Bedella
May Arun Blair-Mangat
Romeo Jordan Luke Gage
Angelique/Nurse Melanie La Barrie
Francois Tim Mahendran
Lady Capulet/Nell Jocasta Almgill
Lord Capulet/Sly Ivan De Freitas
Imogen Rhian Duncan
Lucy Danielle Fiamanya
Kempe Kieran Lai
Gregory Nathan Lorainey-Dineen
Judith Grace Mouat
Augustine Antoine Murray-Straughan
Susanna Kerri Norville
Richard Dillon Scott-Lewis
Eleanor/Benvolio Kirstie Skivington
Henry Alex Tranter
Thomas (swing) Josh Baker
Margaret (swing) Jaye Marshall
Cuthbert (swing) Billy Nevers
Fletcher (swing) Christopher Parkinson
Gwynne (swing) Sophie Usher

Musical numbersEdit

& Juliet is a jukebox musical and featured existing music co-written by Max Martin, except for the new original song "One More Try", co-written by Jessie J. Writers listed in parenthesis.

ProductionsEdit

The world premiere production played at the Manchester Opera House from 10 September to 12 October.[1] It opened in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 20 November 2019, following previews from 2 November.[2] As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, West End theatres were forced to close on March 16, 2020. The production has set its reopening date as September 24 2021.[3]

The cast includes Miriam-Teak Lee as Juliet, and is directed by Luke Sheppard, with choreography by Jennifer Weber and set design by Soutra Gilmour.[1] Joining her in the cast are Oliver Tompsett and Cassidy Janson as William and Anne Hathaway respectively, Melanie La Barrie as Nurse, David Bedella as Lance, Jordan Luke Gage as Romeo, Arun Blair-Mangat as May and Tim Mahendran as Francois.[4]

The show will make its North American premiere at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, Canada.[5] Though originally planned for February 2021, its North American premiere has been postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AwardsEdit

Original West End productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2020 Laurence Olivier Awards Best New Musical Nominated
Best Actress in a Musical Miriam-Teak Lee Won
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical David Bedella Won
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Cassidy Janson Won
Best Theatre Choreographer Jennifer Weber Nominated
Best Set Design Soutra Gilmour Nominated
Best Costume Design Paloma Young Nominated
Best Lightning Design Howard Hudson Nominated
Original Score or New Orchestrations Dominic Fallacaro and Bill Sherman Nominated
Mousetrap Awards Best Musical Nominated
Spectacular Set Won
Best Female Performer Miriam-Teak Lee Nominated
Saved The Day Grace Mouat Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Jackson, Daisy (25 January 2019). "What if Juliet didn't die at the end of Romeo & Juliet?". men. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Miriam-Teak Lee to star as Juliet in new West End musical about Shakespeare's character". www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  3. ^ "& JULIET Update from the Shaftesbury Theatre". www.shaftesburytheatre.com.
  4. ^ Thomas, Sophie (8 February 2019). "Further casting announced for & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre". London Theatre Guide. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  5. ^ McPhee, Ryan (26 February 2019). "Jukebox Musical & Juliet Sets North American Premiere". Playbill. Retrieved 25 March 2019.

External linksEdit