Bonnie & Clyde – George Watson’s College

Directed by Jackie Robinson

Musical Direction by Cerys Reading

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“To few, it’ll be grief, to the law a relief, but it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.”

Youth Musical Theatre Charity A – Team Productions present the well-known tale of Bonnie and Clyde with a stellar cast, excellent staging and a live band. Bonnie and Clyde is the story of the upbringing, meeting and descent into the lawlessness of the titular pair and the impact it has on those around them. Bonnie is a waitress who dreams of fame and life on the stage and Clyde idolises outlaws and frequents the county jail.

Shannon Scott’s performance transforms Bonnie from an infamous criminal to a relatable character with well-communicated motivations of love and fame. Highlights of Scott’s performance are her excellent vocals in solo performances of “Dyin’ Ain’t So Bad” and “How ‘Bout a Dance”.

Expertly presenting all the facets of Clyde, Joe Gill’s performance captures the shift from a child raised in poverty with a fascination for famous outlaws, to his relentless law-breaking and the impact that it has on his chances of holding down a steady job. Eventually conceding defeat in making an honest living, watching the character’s descent into darkness presented by Gill is one of the highlights of the production. In addition to his acting talent, Gill’s vocal range is on display, especially in “Raise a Little Hell”.

Buck, Clyde’s long-suffering brother, and Blanche, his wife, portrayed by Caleb Conrad and Sophie Kayembe bring levity and heart to the cast. From comic moments in “You’re Going Back to Jail” to more serious moments in “That’s What You Call a Dream”, Conrad and Kayembe’s performances bring depth to their characters and storyline.

Providing much-needed context to the childhood of Bonnie and Clyde, the younger versions of these characters are brought to life by Iris Simmonds and Nathan Fisher. Their performances in the prologue and conclusion of the musical bring a reflective nature to the piece and show how the upbringing of the characters morphed them into the infamous pair presented in the core of the show.

The staging included two large car prop pieces and a well-utilised background screen for projection and transitioning between scenes. The authenticity of the costume pieces for the time period assisted the audience’s immersion in the storyline.

Organisations such as A–Team Productions are vital in the promotion of the arts and accessibility to the stage for the young people of Edinburgh and its impact is evident in the quality and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the performance.

‘Quality and Enthusiasm

Bonnie & Clyde runs at George Watson’s College Main Auditorium until August 13th

Tickets for which may be obtained here.

By Mhairi Sime

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