LIKE many people I’d heard of American bandits Bonnie & Clyde but never knew that much about their dramatic but sadly brief lives - they died aged 23 and 25 respectively.

Visiting the Theatre Royal Bath to Saturday, May 4, the award-winning musical is touring nationwide for the first time, breathing life into the infamous ballad derived from the last-ever poem penned by Bonnie herself.

The production brings forth a mesmerising blend of drama, passion, and exceptional talent, leaving audiences spellbound from the first note to the final bow.

The cast is led by Catherine Tyldesley, best known for her performances on ITV’s Coronation Street and in the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Alex James-Hatton, Katie Tonkinson and Sam Ferriday.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Bonnie & Clyde The Musical: Sam Ferriday as Buck and Catherine Tyldesley as Blanche. Photo: Richard DavenportBonnie & Clyde The Musical: Sam Ferriday as Buck and Catherine Tyldesley as Blanche. Photo: Richard Davenport (Image: Richard Davenport)

A story of two small-town kids, it recounts how they became the biggest folk heroes during the Great Depression in America during the 1930s.

Bonnie Parker craved film fame in Hollywood’s tinsel town, while Clyde Barrow grew up wanting to be as notorious as the Wild West gunslinger Billy the Kid.

The young couple hit the road and were responsible for a 21-month crime spree from 1932 to 1934, robbing gas stations, restaurants, and small-town banks while shooting anyone who tried to stop them.

At the forefront of this captivating production are the remarkable performances of Katie Tonkinson and Alex James-Hatton, who effortlessly inhabit the roles of the titular outlaws.

Tonkinson's Bonnie exudes both vulnerability and ferocity, her voice soaring through the theatre with raw emotion. James-Hatton's Clyde is equally compelling, his charisma drawing the audience into the tumultuous world of crime and desire.

However, it's the supporting cast that truly elevates the production to new heights. AJ Lewis's portrayal of the Preacher is nothing short of sensational, his powerful voice resonating with conviction and depth.

Catherine Tyldesley, making her musical theatre debut, shines as Clyde's sister-in-law Blanche, infusing her character with a perfect balance of strength and vulnerability.

Daniel Reid-Walters as Ted Hinton, unfortunately, struggles to maintain the same level of intensity, with his voice, despite being extraordinary, occasionally fading into the background.

Despite this minor setback, the production remains a visual feast for the eyes. The cleverly crafted scenery, including Bonnie's front porch steps and the iconic couple's stolen car, transports the audience to the heart of America’s Great Depression-era.

Each scene is meticulously designed to immerse viewers in the gritty reality of Bonnie and Clyde's tumultuous journey, even though they are gunned down in a hail of bullets by Texas Ranger Captain Frank Hamer, played by Andrew Berlin, in the first scene.

One of the production's greatest strengths lies in its ability to bridge the divide between drama and discomfort. While the story delves into the darker aspects of the duo's life of crime, it never veers into gratuitous violence or sensationalism. Instead, it offers a nuanced portrayal of two young people caught in the throes of passion and circumstance.

At matinee performances, the roles of Bonnie and Clyde are played by Lauren Jones and Nate Landskroner.

Sam Ferriday plays Marvin “Buck” Barrow and is joined by Taryn Sudding as Cumie Barrow and Governor Miriam Ferguson, Alexander Evans as Henry Barrow, Deputy Johnson and Ensemble, and James Mateo-Salt as Sheriff Schmid and Ensemble.

The cast is completed by Callum Henderson as Bud, Archie and Ensemble, Jasmine Beel as Stella, Emma Parker and Ensemble, Oonagh Cox as Eleanore and On-Stage Swing, Michael Cortez as Off-Stage Swing and Resident Director and Olivia Lallo as Off-Stage Swing and Dance Captain.

To book tickets contact the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or visit