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Juniper and Jules at Soho Theatre | Review

Jules and Juniper are meant to be together, and although they love each other, it’s not that simple. In this new transfer from the Vaults Festival, we are taken through the oft’ troubled relationship between two young queer women.

JUNIPER AND JULES
JUNIPER AND JULES

When Jules and Juniper meet, it is mortifyingly awkward and, at the same time, truly charming. While Juniper has always been queer; the possibility of being queer had never even occurred to Jules. That all changed in a nightclub when the two met and that special thing called love at first sight happened. I found myself relating to both of them, the bewildering moment when you question who you are, but understand that you have always felt this way.

The show’s first half is concerned with queerness and finding love in a queer relationship when you never knew that was in you. The second shifts its focus to the relationship itself and the problems in it. We see their dependency and trying to negotiate polyamory in a very intense relationship. At moments we really do question whether they are meant to be together.

With regard to the plot, without spoiling the ending, the storyline does a lot of things that conform to bad stereotypes of queer relationships. The ending feels slapped on and contradicts the dramaturgical direction of the play.

Gabriella Schmidt (Jules) was brilliantly truthful and believable, while Stella Taylor as Juniper was charming and very convincing as a more experienced queer woman, but I never felt like we saw honesty from her character and intimacy that would have given the relationship depth.

The main plot of the play is based around the couple’s arguments, and while the writing is good, it often feels like Stephanie Martin (Writer) doesn’t know how to get there, so arguments come out of nowhere and have not been foreshadowed.

All this being said, it is good to see a believable queer relationship explored on stage that is not just about coming out or homophobia. The show is about relationships, trust and love, and just happens to be about queer people. This is something we need more of.

3 Star Review

Review by Tom Carter

You’re not better than me because you’re gay-er.
Juniper and Jules is a contemporary story about relationships, queer identities, and how we choose to love.

Juniper has been gay for as long as she can remember. Jules didn’t realise she could be queer because no-one ever told her it was an option. Jules isn’t naturally monogamous, she doesn’t think. She wants to make new rules and live life to the full. Juniper is more interested in peace and quiet and happiness (and making sure the washing-up is done by bedtime).

Bethany Pitts directs Gabriella Schmit (Jules) Stella Taylor (Juniper).

Clamour Theatre presents
JUNIPER AND JULES
By Stephanie Martin
Soho Theatre
21 Dean St, London W1D 3NE

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