REVIEW: Bonnie & Clyde at Wolverhampton Grand

It’s the perfect story of love, passion, crime and justice set to a soundtrack of 30s glamour. Bonnie & Clyde is an evening of indulgence like no other.

This production enjoyed a stint in the West End which saw it pick up a What’sOnStage Award for Best New Musical. Now, like its protagonists it’s out on the road.

This is a story of two small-town kids from the middle of nowhere who became the biggest folk heroes in all America. Bonnie and Clyde were fearless, shameless, and alluring and this production has garnered a mass following.

The first commendation has to go to a stunning soundtrack from Tony nominee, Frank Wildhorn and musical theatre icon, Don Black. Quite simply, the music in this show is the single biggest scene setter and every song is sublime.

Staging and lighting are executed with perfection and, mixing those two elements with a story that’s made for the stage gives an atmosphere in the auditorium that’s a heady mix of excitement and unadulterated joy. In particular, the use of projection to keep the story flowing and allude to the presence of others is exceptional.

What comes across from the start is that although we all feel we know Bonnie and Clyde…we don’t really know anything about them. This show takes elements of truth and factual information and blends it with a story which has elements of artistic license.

Our protagonist’s are played perfectly by the exceptionally talented Katie Tonkinson and Alex James-Hatton. The chemistry on the stage is palpable and with powerhouse vocals and effortless charisma, had you told me this was season three of the West End run I’d not have batted an eyelid.

Catherine Tyldesley and Sam Ferriday bring the slightly more humourous double act of Blanche and Buck, Clyde's brother and sister-in-law. Ferriday portrays Buck's conflict between his wife and his brother, a concern which ultimately leads to his death, with pathos, matched by Tyldesley's strong, yet vulnerable, take on Blanche.

Bonnie and Clyde is a powerhouse of a show that exceed's the audience's anticipation in every way. This is appointment-to-view theatre at its best and the production showcases a dark, sinister front which the crowd can't get enough of. Were there some elements that felt like they were missing - absolutely. Moreover, it did feel like a lot was crammed into act two whereas act one felt quite sparse - but that's me nit-picking.

This production evoked one of the most instantanious standing ovations I've seen in a long time - and it doesn't take a genius to see why.

Bonnie and Clyde plays at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 9th March. For more information, or to get your tickets, visit

Katie Tonkinson and Alex James-Hatton as Bonnie and Clyde. (Credit: Richard Davenport)

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