From classic pop songs to inclusive love stories, & Juliet is the ultimate musical experience.

& Juliet
Thanks to our brand partner, & Juliet

There are very few theatre experiences where it's acceptable for the audience to be on their feet, clapping their hands and singing along to the music at the top of their voices.

Watching the musical & Juliet very much demands exactly this type of behaviour. 

Largely due to the fact that this coming-of-age jukebox musical is constructed around songs crafted by Swedish songwriter Max Martin. On the off chance you don't know his name, it's actually very likely you've still spent a large chunk of your life screeching his song lyrics from within the safety of your car. 

Martin rose to prominence in the late 1990s with production credits on Britney Spears' '...Baby One More Time', the Backstreet Boys' 'I Want It That Way', Céline Dion's 'That's the Way It Is' and NSYNC's 'It's Gonna Be Me'. He is also known for co-writing and co-producing a slew of iconic pop songs including Katy Perry's 'I Kissed a Girl' and 'Roar', and Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' and 'Blank Space'.

& Juliet takes a selection of some of Martin's most beloved songs and uses them to put a new twist on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The show imagines a world where Juliet doesn't die tragically after marrying her star-crossed lover Romeo, and instead embarks on a new adventure in the bright lights of Paris, ready to tell a story that is all her own.

Image: Daniel Boud.


In the Australian production of & Juliet, which has just opened in Sydney, an expertly cast Rob Mills plays William Shakespeare, while powerhouse performer Amy Lehpamer plays his wife Anne Hathaway, who pushes her husband to change the ending of his play to allow Juliet more joy and agency, and then begins to write herself into Juliet's new life.

& Juliet debuted in Manchester in 2019 and has since garnered a legion of fans who have fallen in love with the show's humour, heart, reimagined iconic pop songs and pithy one-liners. Which all makes sense when you learn the show's book was penned by Schitt’s Creek writer, David West Read (and yes, there is a nod to the character Alexis Rose hidden within the show, a detail fans of the beloved comedy series will appreciate).

While & Juliet has a series of pop tunes to draw on while bringing the show together, pop bangers alone cannot sustain an entire musical. What makes this new Australian production of the show work so well is the cast who bring these characters and their stories to life. A cast who are not only talented (the thunderous applause from the audience during the show was a testament to that fact) but who genuinely make the entire production feel inclusive. 


There is a queer love story blended throughout the show that offers up some of & Juliet's most romantic and tender moments. Many of the cast members are also Indigenous or people of colour, and many of the performers identify outside the gender binary. 

Image: Daniel Boud.

A true highlight of the performance is when a non-binary character called May (played beautifully by Jesse Dutlow) sings Britney Spears’ 'I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman' in a moment where they are processing their identity, and suddenly the iconic song shines in a whole new way.


Lorinda May Merrypor's voice and stage presence perfectly bring to life the character of Juliet (she's definitely nothing like the original version Shakespeare first penned) while Blake Appelqvist is a comedian genius as Romeo and Yashith Fernando lights up the stage as Francois, a man with a complicated family who becomes embroiled in more than one love story.

Casey Donovan as Angélique, Juliet's doting but opinionated nurse, completely steals the show with her powerhouse voice, her expert comedic timing, and the onstage chemistry she shares with her complicated lover, Lance (played by Hayden Tee).

'Shakespeare' and 'Britney Spears' were two names we never expected to anchor the same show. They actually make perfect sense side by side in the world created by & Juliet and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more joyous musical theatre experience. Or one that will immediately envelop you in a story that feels fresh and new, while weaving in comforting elements of pop culture nostalgia.

I have been playing the & Juliet soundtrack ever since I saw the show during its opening week in Sydney and it always makes me think of a timeless scene from the Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant rom-com Music and Lyrics, where Grant's character delivers a passionate speech saying nothing will make you feel better faster than listening to a pop song. 

And the same can be said for watching & Juliet.

With its vibrant costumes and sets, exceptional cast and a song list piled with hits, & Juliet is the ultimate musical experience. 

Book your tickets to & Juliet, now playing at the Sydney Lyric Theatre for a strictly limited season. 

Feature Image: Instagram/@julietmusicalau

& Juliet
& Juliet is on now, at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. Book at Ticketmaster.