Teagan Wouters, one half of the pair playing the infamous duo Bonnie and Clyde, steps out of rehearsals to chat with Theatre Thoughts about the long awaited production coming to the Hayes Theatre from June 17th!
At the height of the Great Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went from two small-town nobodies in West Texas to America’s most renowned folk heroes and Texas law enforcement’s worst nightmares. Fearless, shameless and alluring, the Tony-nominated Bonnie & Clyde, from the legendary Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde, Civil War, Dracula) is the electrifying story of love, adventure and crime that captured the attention of an entire country.
Playing Bonnie Parker, a beautiful girl torn between love and fame, is Teagan Wouters. Teagan most recently performed the role of Julia Gulia in the Australian stage production of The Wedding Singer. Her other theatre credits include Nicola in Kinky Boots for which she nominated for a Helpmann Award, Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, Lisa Houseman in the Australian tour of Dirty Dancing, Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family.
In the midst of rehearsals, Teagan found the time to step out into the brisk Sydney air to chat with Theatre Thoughts about what makes Bonnie and Clyde one to see this June.
Justin: Oh my goodness, you didn’t have to go out in the cold! Thank you so much. How are rehearsals going?
Teagan: Amazingly actually, Blake (Appelqvist) is just in there at the moment singing their heart out. But rehearsals are going really well at the moment, we’re almost at that bump in stage of the process so it’s getting pretty exciting. I think it’s really coming along well, and audiences are in for something special.
Justin: I’m very excited for it, and Blake wasn’t originally playing Clyde before, were they?
Teagan: Well, it’s funny because we actually auditioned together originally for the roles, but then Blake couldn’t end up taking on Clyde due to scheduling issues. So, then we had Mat (Verevis) in the role in 2020 and that was the cast that was going to perform. Then of course, COVID happened and everything sort of was put on hold and schedules changed. But now, Blake is back and it’s funny because, Blake and I were sort of the original cast back in the day when we first joined and first started to do it.
Justin: And you’re of course playing Bonnie, did you do any sort of research or take any inspiration from the real Bonnie and Clyde?
Teagan: Definitely, I did look into who she was and the pairs’ story in America. I think it’s always difficult because you don’t want to glorify the reality of who Bonnie and Clyde were and the crimes they committed because that would be irresponsible. I actually listened to a podcast about her, and it was retelling details about her life. A lot of it, you know, tends to be a lot of hearsay about who she was and what she was like. So I picked out the parts that I liked and have held onto those and obviously have created my own version of it.
Justin: What makes Bonnie tick then? Can you tell us a bit about who she is a character?
Teagan: She’s very driven by her desire for fame and her passion for that. So she has that and she has massive, massive dreams. She wants to be a star essentially, and that sort of drives her throughout the story. And she’s feisty! She knows exactly what she wants, and she goes and gets it. She’s actually a really complex character to master.
Justin: It’s a fascinating show, Bonnie and Clyde, because I think there’s been a resurgence recently, especially with Jeremy Jordan reprising his role recently in the West End. What do you think is the show’s special quality that’s made it a show to bring back?
Teagan: Yeah I think you’re right, I think mainly the fact that, Bonnie and Clyde have become these folklore sort of figures in society. It’s a real fine line that we take when telling the story, because they were real people and real crimes that the pair committed, but we’re telling it from a theatrical lens. I think the music itself definitely has something to do with it, like you said Jeremy Jordan is on the West End again with it. It’s quite complex because it has that non-traditional essence to it with the mix of blues, gospel, and rockabilly music.
Justin: And I love the Hayes Theatre itself, because it’s known for taking these big stage musicals and bringing it into an intimate setting. How does this production sort of continue that tradition?
Teagan: Well yeah we’re fitting a lot into a very small space, and on top of that there is the difficult obstacles of guns and the amount of violence with guns and sparring that takes place. But we’re creating a very intimate version of Bonnie and Clyde, so our amazing director and set designer and everyone has really worked hard to create their own compact version which I think the Hayes does really, really well. We’re still in the rehearsal stages so we haven’t seen the final designs in place yet, but we shall see what they’ve managed to create once we do finally enter the space. And it’s always a tribute to them because working in smaller spaces is always a tough thing to do well.
Justin: One last question so you can get back into the warm, what do you think audiences will mostly take away from this production?
Teagan: I think the intimacy and the creativity of the past and how they create this world of Bonnie and Clyde. As well as the diversity of who we have in the cast and how we get to tell our version of this story I think is pretty special. So, I think if they like Bonnie and Clyde, or they like musicals, they’ll absolutely love it. So, I hope everyone comes to see it!
Bonnie and Clyde plays at the Hayes Theatre from June 17. Tickets can be bought by heading to their website. Content Warning: This production contains death, violence, sexual references, haze, strobe, loud noises and gun usage.
Bonnie and Clyde
Book by Ivan Menchall, Lyrics by Don Black & Music by Frank Wildhorn
Presented by Joshua Robson Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co
Starring Teagan Wouters and Blake Appelqvist
Completing the cast of Sydney’s most wanted musical are Carlo Boumouglbay, Jonathan Chan, Darcy Fisher, Lewis Francis, Deborah Galanos, Milo Harthill, Kieran McGrath, Lucy Miller, William Motunuu, Sarah Murr, Caity Plummer, Sam Richardson, Luisa Scrofani and Jim Williams.
Director & Choreographer Sam Hooper
Music Director Zara Stanton
Assistant Director Julia Robertson
Assistant Music Director Ned Wright Smith
Production Manager Anna Sinclair
Set Designer Simon Greer
Lighting Designer James Wallis
Costume Designer Claudia Kryszkiewicz
Sound Designer Andrew Foster
Casting Consultant Rhys Velasquez
Casting Director Lynne Ruthven
Stage Manager Liz Jameson
Assistant Stage Manager Vanessa Purnama & Alexandra Longiudice
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