5 reasons why you need to catch hit musical '& Juliet' at Sands Theatre and the things to know
Updated: Sep 25
With a beautiful storyline and amazing vocals by its talented Australian cast, hit musical & Juliet is rip-roaring good fun and a performance you won't want to miss!
What if Juliet doesn't die in Romeo & Juliet and instead chooses her own destiny? This is the premise of hit musical & Juliet and what ensues is a coming-of-age story as Juliet sets off on a journey of self-discovery.
This award-winning musical is currently performing at Singapore's Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands after premiering on 21 September. I must admit before this I hadn't heard of this musical famous as it is. When I was working as a fulltime journalist and travelling a lot, I was more in touch with what's happening in the theatre scene and whenever I was in London where the theatre scene is really vibrant, I'd catch as many shows as my time and wallet allow.
So yup, I've really been out of touch with what's happening in the theatre scene, so I went with an open mind on the second night of & Juliet's performance not knowing what to expect (but I did catch an exclusive sneak peak of its rehearsal!). And can I say now that I've watched it, I was totally blown away by the performance - I love the story and the high octane performance and amazing vocals by the talented cast!
Here are 5 reasons why you need to catch & Juliet. Scroll down further for 5 things to know if you're planning to go, including a link to get 20% discount off tickets!
1) The beautiful and witty story about coming-of-age, self-discovery and female empowerment
& Juliet kickstarts with William Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway, questioning her famous playwright husband,“ What if Juliet didn’t kill herself?” This sets Juliet off on a whole new journey to see the world and find love again after she realises at Romeo's funeral that her dead husband was also a philandering cad.
This is also a play-in-a-play where Anne writes herself into the story as Juliet's friend, and questions patriarchy while taking stock of her relationship with her husband who insists on writing the story his way.
Written by award-winning writer of Schitt’s Creek, David West Read, this story is witty and humorous. Amidst the familiar Shakespearean tropes of comic mismatches and characters returning from the dead, it also addresses sensitive topics like gender fluidity while sending an uplifting message that we should live on our own terms.
Can I say that I like this version much more than the original Shakespeare classic?
2) An awesome soundtrack featuring hit songs by renowned songwriter Max Martin
& Juliet is also a celebration of pop music. It's a jukebox musical - meaning majority of the musical's songs are well-known popular music songs, rather than original music - that features chart-topping hits by renowned songwriter Max Martin including, Roar, Larger than Life and Baby, One More Time. These songs, which would probably be familiar to Gen X-ers and Millennials, are ingeniously woven into the storyline.
Here are the list of songs by the London cast of & Juliet:
I grew up listening to these songs but I do find them rather dated as my music taste is more current and have moved with times. That said, since watching the show, I have been replaying and singing along to the soundtrack as I enjoyed their remixes so much more!
3) The incredibly talented Australian cast
You can have a great storyline and awesome soundtrack, but it's nothing if you don't have good actors to carry it through and that's where the incredibly talented Australian cast comes in. The actors displayed amazing vocals and stage chemistry, with flawless deliveries in both song and dance. In particular, Lorinda May Merrypor, who plays Juliet, and Amy Lehpamer, who plays Anne, blew me away.
4) The stunning set and costumes
The & Juliet set is stunning as it takes you from Verona to Paris. Without spoiling it too much for you, you'll also see a glitzy ball, swing in the air and boi band stage. The costumes, a blend of the 16th century with the contemporary, are gorgeous as well.
5) Singapore is & Juliet's only Asian stop and performs for a limited season
& Juliet is only in Singapore from 21 September till 15 October 2023 and Singapore is its sole Asia stop. So if you want to catch it, please get your tickets soon - tickets are selling fast!
Here are also 5 things to know if you're planning to watch the musical:
i) This musical is rated Advisory 16
This musical is rated Advisory 16 for some mature content. The mature content advisory I believe is for some sexual references (though not a lot), LGBTIQA+ themes and 'F' bombs in one of the featured songs. The rating is not an age-enforceable rating, so it is not restricted to those aged 16 and above. But if you want to bring your kid along, you'll want to make sure you and your kid are comfortable with the above.
Those aged 4 and above with tickets can be admitted, and all children below 12 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There will be no admission for children aged 3 and below.
ii) Ticket prices
Ticket prices range from S$68-238. We were at the A Reserve zone where tickets cost $148-178 and our seats were excellent. And as promised here's the link to get a 20% off your tickets https://ticket.marinabaysands.com/mbs/booking/julietmusical1023?promocode=julietmusical1023EO
iii) Dining places can get crowded at Marina Bay Sands on weekends
If you're heading for weekend shows, do go there a little earlier if you're planning to have dinner before the show. Many of the dining places already have queues when we were there at 630pm on a Friday.
iv) Take pictures at the cool & Juliet backdrops
There are cool & Juliet backdrops at the theatre including one at the entrance that make great photo opportunities. So make sure you budget a bit of time if you wanna take some photos.
The backdrop near the entrance has a staff helping people with photo-taking when we were there on Friday evening. The queue was rather long after we were done with ours, so go there a bit earlier if you want to take pictures!
v) Queues for female toilets at the theatre can get pretty long
The queue at the female toilet at the theatre at the entrance level was pretty long before the show started. So you might want to use the toilets outside of the theatre before going to the show. But if you're sitting at the Stall area where you have to go down the stairs, there are also toilets there which were rather empty before the show started.
Likewise, the female toilet queues were awfully long during intermission too. So make a dash for the toilets if you need to once intermission starts!
& Juliet is a visual spectacle that I'd highly recommend for adults. I'm actually tempted to watch it a second time - that's how much I enjoyed it! Do see the IG story highlights at my Instagram page, Vivianteowriter, for more pics and vids!
Disclaimer: This review is made possible by Base Asia Entertainment's invitation. My opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.