Everything you need to know about ‘& Juliet’ in London
You’ll have heard of Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. It’s the tale of two lovestruck teenagers from rivalling families in Verona who fall in love to fatal consequences. But, what would have happened if Juliet had decided to stay alive? You may have wondered, but now you can find out the answer.
& Juliet is a musical that rewrites the end of Shakespeare’s tragedy to the sounds of contemporary pop songs. Yes, those chart-topping hits you spent hours singing to in front of the mirror are now certified West End hits. & Juliet is jampacked with plenty of laughter, love and lyrics you’ll definitely recognise.
Here’s our complete guide to the West End production of & Juliet, and & Juliet tickets are now available on LondonTheatre.co.uk.
What is & Juliet about?
What would happen if the final scene of Romeo & Juliet was changed, so that instead of death, there was joy? Spinning the Shakespeare tragedy on its head, audiences meet William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway who attempt to rub out the past. Instead, Juliet gets to live. She travels to Paris for a party of the century, and she's determined to push Romeo out of her mind. Attending a Renaissance ball, Juliet meets Francois. He’s a spirited individual who is just trying to find his own place in society. Once again, Juliet finds herself head over heels all over again, but she’ll have to be stronger than ever to stop herself from repeating previous mistakes.
When did & Juliet premiere?
The world premiere of & Juliet was at Manchester Opera House. & Juliet played a regional tryout in Manchester from 10 September - 12 Oct. 2019, ahead of moving to the West End a month later. & Juliet began previews at the Shaftesbury Theatre from 2 November, ahead of an opening night on 20 November.
Currently, & Juliet has only been staged in England. The North American premiere of & Juliet will open at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, Canada, in 2022.
Who wrote & Juliet?
The & Juliet book is written by David West Read. The Canadian playwright’s other works include The Performers, The Dream of the Burning Boy and The Great Pretender. However, he’s perhaps best known for serving as a writer on the multi-award-winning Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek.
The & Juliet music and lyrics are led by Max Martin, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter whose songs feature in the & Juliet jukebox musical. His hit singles feature in the musical, so we won’t spoil which songs he’s collaborated on. To date, he’s been nominated for 22 Grammy Awards from 2000 - 2020 — making him one of the most successful 21st century music producers.
Who is in the & Juliet cast in London?
Miriam-Teak Lee plays Juliet, originating the role. Teak-Lee made her professional stage debut in On the Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, winning a Stage Debut award for her performance as Claire DeLoone. She’s also been in the original Hamilton cast in London.
Oliver Tompsett and Cassidy Janson star as William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway respectively, with Melanie La Barrie as the Nurse and David Bedella as Lance, Jordan Luke Gage as Romeo, Alex Thomas Smith as May and Tim Mahendran as Francois.
The & Juliet ensemble is completed by Jocasta Almgill, Josh Baker, Ivan De Freitas, Rhian Duncan, Kieran Lai, Nathan Lorainey-Dineen, Jaye Marshall, Grace Mouat, Antoine Murray-Straughan, Billy Nevers, Kerri Norville, Christopher Parkinson, Kirstie Skivington, Alex Tranter, Sophie Usher and Rhys Wilkinson.
What theatre in London is & Juliet playing at?
& Juliet is at the Shaftesbury Theatre. The Shaftesbury Theatre is one of six theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue, and is close to the Palace Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre and the Prince Edward Theatre. Previous shows at the Shaftesbury Theatre include Motown the Musical, Memphis the Musical and From Here to Eternity.
What is the running time of & Juliet?
The running time of & Juliet in London is 2 hours and 30 minutes. During the show, there is a 15 minute interval.
What songs are in & Juliet?
We’ll forgive you for singing (to yourself, of course) through & Juliet, as it’s filled with catchy pop tunes. Find out more about the & Juliet soundtrack here and listen to the & Juliet soundtrack below.
- "Larger than Life" (made famous by Backstreet Boys) – Shakespeare and Company
- "I Want It That Way" (made famous by Backstreet Boys) – Shakespeare, Anne and Company
- "...Baby One More Time" (made famous by Britney Spears) – Juliet
- "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" (made famous by Backstreet Boys) – Juliet and Company
- "Domino" (made famous by Jessie J) -Juliet, Anne, Nurse, May
- "Show Me Love" (made famous by Robyn) – Juliet, Anne, Nurse, May and Company
- "Blow" (made famous by Ke$ha) – Juliet, Anne, Nurse, May and Company
- "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" (made famous by Britney Spears) – May and Juliet
- "Overprotected" (made famous by Britney Spears) – Francois and Juliet
- "Confident" (made famous by Demi Lovato) – Juliet and Francois
- "Teenage Dream" made famous by Katy Perry) / "Break Free" (made famous by Ariana Grande) – Nurse and Lance
- "Oops!... I Did It Again" (made famous by Britney Spears) – Juliet and Nurse
- "I Kissed a Girl" (made famous by Katy Perry) – May and Francois
- "It's My Life" (made famous by Bon Jovi) – Romeo and Company
- "Love Me Like You Do" (made famous by Ellie Goulding) – Romeo
- "Since U Been Gone" (made famous by Kelly Clarkson) – Juliet and Female Company
- "Whataya Want From Me" (made famous by Adam Lambert) – May and Francois
- "One More Try" – Juliet and Romeo
- "Problem" (made famous by Ariana Grande) / "Can't Feel My Face" (made famous by The Weeknd) – Juliet and Romeo
- "That's the Way It Is" (made famous by Celine Dion) – Anne and Juliet
- "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" (made famous by Backstreet Boys) – Shakespeare, Romeo, May, Francois, Lance and Company
- "As Long as You Love Me" (made famous by Backstreet Boys) – Francois
- "It's Gonna Be Me" (made famous by NSync)– Francois and May
- "Shape of My Heart" (made famous by Backstreet Boys)– Lance, Francois, May
- "Stronger" (made famous by Britney Spears)– Juliet
- "Fuckin' Perfect" (made famous by P!nk) – Nurse
- "Roar" (made famous by Katy Perry) – Juliet
- "I Want It That Way" (reprise) (made famous by Backstreet Boys) – Shakespeare, Anne, Juliet, Romeo and Company
- "Can't Stop the Feeling!" (made famous by Justin Timberlake) – Shakespeare, Anne and Company
What were reviews like for & Juliet?
If you’re looking for a contemporary musical to escape the real world for a few hours, then & Juliet is the show for you. This sentiment was felt in a LondonTheatre.co.uk review, where Mark Shenton said: “This likeable and sometimes spectacular production - directed by Luke Sheppard and choreographed by Jennifer Weber with vigour and discipline, gives [the songs] a full-bodied and full-blooded outing. Frequently resembling a series of pop videos come to life - thanks to performance platforms that come out of the floor, or benches that take on an aerial life of their own in Soutra Gilmour's sets, aided by Andrzej Goulding's dazzling projections - it is performed with a glinting knowingness and powerful pop theatre voices.”
All the puzzle pieces in & Juliet create a beautiful picture, as suggested in The Stage. Tim Bano said: “The show is more than the sum of its parts. It becomes something new. Nominally set in the past, with all kinds of shapes, sizes, colours and sexualities visible on stage, it feels more like a glorious vision of a Technicolor future. By the end, & Juliet almost resembles a rally.”
The Bard goes bubblegum pop according to The Guardian review, which states: “& Juliet packs a lot of fun into its sharp, witty story of self-discovery. Its best message? That [pop music] far from being manufactured filler, is a worthy accompaniment to the greatest of storytellers.”
What awards has & Juliet won?
& Juliet was nominated for nine Olivier Awards in 2020. All cast members nominated for solo awards won their categories. Find out all the Olivier Awards that & Juliet was nominated for below. Winners are in bold.
Best New Musical
Best Actress in a Musical - Miriam-Teak Lee
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical - David Bedella
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical - Cassidy Janson
Best Theatre Choreographer - Jennifer Weber
Best Set Design - Soutra Gilmour
Best Costume Design - Paloma Young
Best Lighting Design - Howard Hudson
Original Score or New Orchestrations - Dominic Fallacaro and Bill Sherman
How do I get tickets for & Juliet in London?
& Juliet performances are currently scheduled at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London to 25 Jun. 2022.
Photo credit: & Juliet (Photos by Johan Persson)