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Shaftesbury Theatre

  • Theatre
  • Shaftesbury Avenue
Shaftesbury Theatre.jpg

Time Out says

This Edwardian theatre has served as a musicals house for much of its recent history, with the unfortunate reputation for playing host to a considerable number of flops. Still, the success of ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Motown’ showed that it’s hardly cursed. In late 2019 it’s due to play host to ‘& Juliet’, a gloriously dumb-looking jukebox celebration of the songs of Max Martin that has ‘hit’ written all over it silly grinning face.


Shaftesbury Avenue
Tube: Holborn/Tottenham Court Road
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‘& Juliet’ review

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Musicals

A new cast featuring ‘The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle as Nurse will take over from March 29 2022. ‘& Juliet’ is a heavily ironic Shakespeare rewrite based on the songs of super-producer Max Martin. And with the gift of that knowledge, I can fairly confidently state that you’ll probably like ‘& Juliet’ almost precisely as much as you expect to like ‘& Juliet’. Me, I grew up with Martin’s greatest hits: Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys dominated the radio when I was at school, and while I’ve never spent a single penny on his music, I’ve probably spent days of my life listening to it. These were Big Tunes to start with, and in ‘& Juliet’ they sound immense, reconfigured into lush new Tudor-nodding arrangements (a harpsichord features prominently). Most crucially, in a musical that Martin is heavily involved with, they’re deployed in ways that always find some emotional connection to the plot (by no means a given in a jukebox musical – *takes a long, hard stare at ‘Mamma Mia!’*).  The plot is fun provided you refuse to take any of what happens seriously. It’s basically ‘Romeo & Juliet’ rewritten into a sort of woke panto. The Bard of Avon (Oliver Tompsett, channelling a mid-tier ‘Love Island’ contestant) is very pleased with himself for having written the play. But his wife Anne Hathaway (Cassidy Janson, scene-stealingly bolshy) has other ideas. She browbeats Will into allowing Juliet to survive then persuades him to let her rewrite the play as an empowering feminist road t

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