What is & juliet?

& Juliet is a 2019 coming-of-age stage musical featuring the music of Swedish pop songwriter Max Martin, with a book by David West Read. The story focuses on a "what if" scenario, where Juliet does not die at the end of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Opening to critical acclaim in London's West End in 2019, the show was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards in 2020, including Best New Musical. Three of its performers — Miriam-Teak Lee, Cassidy Janson and David Bedella — won Oliviers for their performances of Juliet, Anne and Lance, respectively. It also received a record-breaking thirteen nominations at the 2020 WhatsOnStage Awards, winning six, including Best Actress in a Musical for Lee.


Act One

At the first production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the audience welcomes Shakespeare to the stage ("Larger than Life"). He introduces his wife, Anne Hathaway, who is visiting from Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the play, and explains the plot and ending of the show to her. She suggests he change the ending, wondering what would have happened if Juliet did not kill herself; Shakespeare protests ("I Want It That Way"). He lets her explain her idea for the play, which commences with Juliet waking up to find Romeo dead ("...Baby One More Time").

At Romeo's funeral, Juliet finds out that Romeo had many other relationships, with both men and women ("Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely") and Juliet's parents decide to send her to a convent. May, Juliet's non-binary friend, and Angelique, her nurse, come to her rescue, and Anne writes herself into the play as 'April', another of Juliet's friends. They decide to take a road trip to Paris ("Domino"). Anne writes Shakespeare in as a carriage driver and the road trip begins ("Show Me Love").

In France, they attend a ball which is a party for Francois. Francois' father, Lance, tells him that he must either marry or join the army; Francois argues that he doesn't wish to do either as the women of Paris are unappealing, as is the military. Juliet and her band of friends sneak into the party ("Blow").

Francois meets May, who reveals to Juliet that they suffer from gendered concepts such as gender-specific bathrooms and gendered languages such as French ("I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"). Francois then complains about living such a stifled life, which Juliet relates to, and they begin to bond over their shared experiences ("Overprotected"). Francois is drawn to Juliet and thinks he is in love with her, and they dance together ("Confident").

Angelique and Lance are revealed to have spent the night together. She was formerly the nurse to his children, and Lance asks her to come back and live with him. Angelique wants to stay to look after Juliet, but Lance reminds her that Juliet is in her 20s and can take care of herself ("Teenage Dream/Break Free"). Angelique ultimately decides that Juliet needs her more, so she leaves Lance.

Juliet wakes up next to Francois, who proposes, and Juliet agonises about her previous relationship with Romeo ("Oops!... I Did It Again"). When her parents arrive to take her to the convent, she agrees to Francois' proposal, before discovering Angelique and Lance's previous relationship. Anne challenges Shakespeare for making Juliet get married again. She complains that he leaves her in Stratford-upon-Avon while he works in London, and accuses him of never writing happy marriages.

Shakespeare decides he needs a conflict or plot twist to add to Anne's version of the play, so has Francois and May meet again. May offers Francois a drink and Francois reveals he has just proposed; May and Francois kiss ("I Kissed a Girl").

Anne is angry to discover that Shakespeare intends to bring Romeo back. Juliet tells April that she is engaged again, only to have Romeo enter and declare he has come back for his wife ("It's My Life").

Act Two

Romeo sings ("Love Me Like You Do") to Juliet and forgives her for not killing herself. She reveals to Romeo her engagement with Francois ("Since You've Been Gone").

Shakespeare tells Anne that Juliet did not listen to Romeo's side of events, to which Anne counters that this is important to her and that she feels Shakespeare cares more about his plays than his family. She breaks his quill, meaning that neither of them can make any further changes to the story.

May grows angry at Francois for ignoring their feelings for him and for intending to marry Juliet ("Whataya Want From Me"), while Juliet complains to May that Romeo lied to her. Francois grows worried, as he hasn't told Juliet about his feelings for May.

Romeo reflects that he only ever felt valued for his looks but Juliet made him want to be a better person; Juliet nonetheless decides to be with Francois ("One More Try"). Despite this, she remains unsure of her feelings towards Romeo as she loves him but feels like she shouldn't ("Problem/Can't Feel My Face"). Francois' brother (in fact Shakespeare in disguise) invites Romeo to join his band, which is due to play at Juliet and Francois' wedding. May also joins the band. Angelique, in the meantime, proposes to Lance.

Anne discovers that Juliet is still in love with Romeo and recounts her own romance with Shakespeare ("That's the Way It Is"). At the wedding, Shakespeare, May, Francois, Lance and Romeo perform ("Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"). Juliet walks down the aisle as Francois sings ("As Long as You Love Me") as his vows, but they both object to the marriage, with Francois singing ("It's Gonna Be Me") to May. Romeo confesses his love to Juliet while her parents insist she returns to Verona with them, stating that they know what's best for her, which Juliet refutes ("Stronger").

Lance accepts Francois and his true love ("Shape of My Heart"), while Juliet worries that she is an obstacle to their relationship. Angelique reassures Juliet that she will never leave her ("Fuckin' Perfect") but Juliet insists Angelique goes with Lance, before deciding to be confident and take charge of her destiny ("Roar").

Shakespeare complains that Anne ruined his play, which she refutes, and he agrees as he realises that he does not want to lose her ("I Want It That Way – Reprise").

Romeo apologises to Juliet and tells her that what he wants doesn't matter; what she wants is what counts. They decide to go on a first date, as a new beginning for Juliet and Romeo. Angelique and Lance get married and the company sing ("Can't Stop the Feeling!").

Cast and characters

CharacterManchester / West EndToronto / Broadway
Juliet CapuletMiriam-Teak LeeLorna Courtney
Anne Hathaway/AprilCassidy JansonBetsy Wolfe
William ShakespeareOliver TompsettStark Sands
Lance Du BoisDavid BedellaPaulo Szot
MayArun Blair-MangatJustin David Sullivan
Romeo MontagueJordan Luke GageBen Jackson Walker
Angelique/NurseMelanie La Barrie
François Du BoisTim MahendranPhilippe Arroyo
Lady Capulet/NellJocasta AlmgillVeronica Otim
Lord Capulet/SlyIvan De FreitasNicholas Edwards
ImogenRhian DuncanJasmine Rafael
LucyDanielle FiamanyaKaty Geraghty (Megan Kane in NY)
KempeKieran LaiJoomin Hwang
GregoryNathan Lorainey-DineenMatt Raffy
Judith/RosalineGrace MouatRachel Webb
AugustineAntoine Murray-StraughanVirgil Gadson
Susanna/Rumour (North America)Kerri NorvilleBobby “Pocket” Horner
RichardDillon Scott-LewisBrandon Antonio
Eleanor/BenvolioKirstie SkivingtonTiernan Tunnicliffe
HenryAlex TranterJoe Moeller
MargaretJaye Marshall
ThomasJosh BakerMichael Ivan Carrier
FletcherChris ParkinsonDaniel J Maldonado
CuthbertBilly NeversNico De Jesus
GwynneSophie UsherAlaina Vi Maderal
ViolaAbiola EfunshileBrittany Nicholas

Notable West End cast replacements

Musical numbers

& Juliet is a jukebox musical and featured existing music co-written by Max Martin, except for the new original song "One More Try", co-written by Jessie J.

Performer(s)SongOriginal Artist
Act 1
William Shakespeare and Company"Larger than Life"Backstreet Boys
Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare, and Company"I Want It That Way"
Juliet"…Baby One More Time"Britney Spears
Rosaline, Anne, Shakespeare, Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet, Juliet, and Company"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"Backstreet Boys
Juliet, Anne, Angelique, May"Domino"Jessie J
Juliet, Anne, Angelique, May and Company"Show Me Love"Robyn
May and Juliet"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"Britney Spears
Francois and Juliet"Overprotected"
Juliet, Francois, Angelique, Lance, and Company"Confident"Demi Lovato
Angelique and Lance"Teenage Dream" / "Break Free"Katy Perry / Ariana Grande feat. Zedd
Juliet and Angelique"Oops!…I Did It Again"Britney Spears
May, Francois, and Company"I Kissed a Girl"Katy Perry
Romeo, Shakespeare, Juliet, Anne, and Company"It's My Life"Bon Jovi
Act 2
Romeo"Love Me Like You Do"Ellie Goulding
Juliet and Female Company"Since U Been Gone"Kelly Clarkson
May and Francois"Whataya Want From Me"Adam Lambert
Juliet, Romeo, and Company"One More Try"Original song
Juliet, Romeo, and Company"Problem" / "Can't Feel My Face"Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea / The Weeknd
Anne and Juliet"That's the Way It Is"Céline Dion
Shakespeare, Romeo, May, Francois, Lance and Company"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"Backstreet Boys
Francois, Shakespeare, Romeo, and May"As Long as You Love Me"
Francois and May"It's Gonna Be Me"*NSYNC
Juliet"Stronger"Britney Spears
Lance, Francois, and May"Shape of My Heart"Backstreet Boys
Angelique and Company"Fuckin' Perfect"P!nk
Juliet and Company"Roar"Katy Perry
Shakespeare, Anne, Juliet, Romeo and Company"I Want It That Way" (Reprise)Backstreet Boys
Shakespeare, Anne and Company"Can't Stop the Feeling!"Justin Timberlake


The world premiere production played at the Manchester Opera House from 10 September to 12 October 2019.2 It opened in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 20 November 2019, following previews from 2 November.3 As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, West End theatres were forced to close on 16 March, 2020. The production reopened on 24 September, 2021.4

The cast includes Miriam-Teak Lee as Juliet, and is directed by Luke Sheppard, with choreography by Jennifer Weber and set design by Soutra Gilmour.5 Oliver Tompsett and Cassidy Janson play William and Anne Hathaway respectively, with Melanie La Barrie as Nurse, David Bedella as Lance, Jordan Luke Gage as Romeo, Arun Blair-Mangat as May and Tim Mahendran as Francois.6 Alex Thomas-Smith joined the cast as May when the show reopened in September 2021.7

On 18 January 2022, it was announced that the West End run had been extended until September 2022, with Lee, Janson, Tompsett, Mahendran and Thomas-Smith continuing their roles. The role of Nurse/Angelique was assumed by Keala Settle, in her West End debut, from 29 March to 18 June 2022. Bedella and Gage played their final performances as Lance and Romeo on 26 March.8

The show will open in Melbourne in February 2023, playing at the Regent Theatre9 for its Australia premiere.

The show will made its North American premiere on 22 June, 2022, at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, Canada.10 Though originally planned for February 2021, its North American premiere has been postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The North American cast was announced on 10 May 2022.11

It was announced on 7 July 2022 that the show would begin Broadway previews on 28 October 2022 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.


Original West End production

<table> <thead> <tr class="header"> <th><p>Year</p></th> <th><p>Award</p></th> <th><p>Category</p></th> <th><p>Nominee</p></th> <th><p>Result</p></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr class="odd"> <td><p>2020</p></td> <td><p><a href="2020_Laurence_Olivier_Awards" title="wikilink">Laurence Olivier Awards</a></p></td> <td><p>Best New Musical</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td><p>Best Actress in a Musical</p></td> <td><p><a href="Miriam-Teak_Lee" title="wikilink">Miriam-Teak Lee</a></p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="odd"> <td><p>Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical</p></td> <td><p><a href="David_Bedella" title="wikilink">David Bedella</a></p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td><p>Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical</p></td> <td><p><a href="Cassidy_Janson" title="wikilink">Cassidy Janson</a></p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="odd"> <td><p>Best Theatre Choreographer</p></td> <td><p>Jennifer Weber</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td><p>Best Set Design</p></td> <td><p><a href="Soutra_Gilmour" title="wikilink">Soutra Gilmour</a></p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="odd"> <td><p>Best Costume Design</p></td> <td><p><a href="Paloma_Young" title="wikilink">Paloma Young</a></p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td><p>Best Lighting Design</p></td> <td><p>Howard Hudson</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="odd"> <td><p>Original Score or New Orchestrations</p></td> <td><p>Dominic Fallacaro and <a href="Bill_Sherman" title="wikilink">Bill Sherman</a></p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td><p>Black British Theatre Awards<a href="#fn1" class="footnote-ref" id="fnref1" role="doc-noteref"><sup>1</sup></a></p></td> <td><p>Best Female Actor in a Musical</p></td> <td><p>Miriam-Teak Lee</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="odd"> <td><p>Mousetrap Awards</p></td> <td><p>Best Musical</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td><p>Spectacular Set</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="odd"> <td><p>Best Female Performer</p></td> <td><p>Miriam-Teak Lee</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> <tr class="even"> <td><p>Saved The Day</p></td> <td><p>Grace Mouat</p></td> <td></td> <td></td> <td></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <section class="footnotes footnotes-end-of-document" role="doc-endnotes"> <hr /> <ol> <li id="fn1" role="doc-endnote"><a href="#fnref1" class="footnote-back" role="doc-backlink">↩︎</a></li> </ol> </section>


External links

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