& Juliet, currently based at the Shaftesbury Theater in the heart of London’s West End, opened its doors on 10th September 2019. Critically hailed as “dazzlingly brilliant, & Juliet” is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo & Juliet, about Juliet’s journey to independence after Romeo’s death. But why has the show turned out to be such a sensation? & Juliet is arguably the current pioneer of the West End. The modernized musical examines issues such as gender and sexual orientation, and depicts former ideals of female roles and relationship dynamics.
Musicals and plays often stick to the traditional portrayal – your typical love story between a cisgender heterosexual couple. & Juliet portrays a transgender character; Explore her journey of self-acceptance, a homosexual relationship and polished with a racially diverse cast. It conveys an ambience of inclusivity, perhaps what, three years later in production, still draws throngs of visitors to the Shaftesbury’s sparkling doors. The London show’s success has led to numerous awards and, as of November 2022, its Broadway opening, allowing the allegory to continue to expand.
The award-winning musical normalizes the uncompromising humanity and delves into the idea that everyone is different. The powerful impact additional representation can have on people is underestimated, especially in such an influential aspect of modern times. The success of & Juliet will undeniably lead to more inclusivity efforts at shows in the future.
Jessica Alexander, St Catherine’s College
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23133026.theatre-learn-juliet/?ref=rss What theater could learn from & Juliet