CONTAINS SOME STRONG LANGUAGE. NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN.
In Dublin, music unites an Irish busker and Czech mother, and carries them forward
into a romance.
The Broadway hit Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova and Enda Walsh musical,
based on the John Carney film, comes to London.
Based on the much-loved Oscar®- winning film, Once The Musical is an
extraordinary, original and irresistibly joyous celebration of love,
friendship and music.
Ronan Keating will play Guy from 17th November 2014 until 21st March
2015. He will NOT appear at the performances on 20th and 24th January
2015. Cast details are given for information only, and Theatremonkey.com
CANNOT take responsibility for any issue arising from the accuracy or
otherwise of these details, nor guest use of this information.
ORIGINAL LONDON CAST 5 TRACK EP OUT NOW:
CLICK HERE to hear it, FREE!
(Seen at the 7.30pm preview performance on 21st March 2013, some actors
have now left the cast)
Phenomenal. London has been handed one of the greatest, most important musical
gifts ever, let’s hope it recognises how to treasure it. Delicate, beautiful,
uncomplicated, clever and imaginative. For the first time since the 1980s
musical theatre has taken a completely new direction. This is it.
OK, so that’s the headline review. How does the monkey justify instantly placing
this show into its closely guarded “top five musicals it has ever seen” (bearing
in mind it puts the total it has seen or heard at around the 3000 mark)?
First, the show is a musical purely about music, celebrating the very
building-blocks that created it.
Second, it’s a perfect enigma. Are we really watching a brief romance between
strangers as they create music and resolve their problems...
...or is the whole forming inside one man’s mind, every character a new piece
in development as he searches for love and inspiration?
Third, the show trusts in both material and cast implicitly. A few tables and
the minimum of amplification, when it wants to make a point it gets quieter, not
louder... and the actors subtly join in to emphasise the message.
The alchemy is perfect. An Irish / Celtic feeling score, but with enough
Broadway mixed in to give it the narrative drive a stage musical requires. Add a
dialogue blending charm and grit as only Dublin perhaps can, and characters that
are ethereal yet simultaneously deep and solid and instantly recognisable and
sympathetic, and all is set fair.
Then there is the cast. To single one out is wrong – each is vital to the
fabric, adding sweeping colour or minute detail as required. Working together,
the whole ensemble is a superbly chosen group of highly talented
actor/musicians. The monkey simply types the cast list in full: Declan Bennett,
Zrinka Cvitešić, Valda Aviks, Ryan Fletcher, Aidan Kelly, Gareth O’Connor,
Michael O’Connor, Miria Parvin, Jos Slovick, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Jez Unwin,
Gabriel Vick, Mia Jay Bryan as each brings something incredibly special to a
production that writes a whole new book on how to create a show.
It’s the first time the monkey has ever seen a cast applaud its audience for
giving them a standing ovation. And that was a standing ovation like none it has
seen either. Not the “obligatory” type churned out by crazed fans, but a
spontaneous reaction to one extraordinary evening.
Everybody thinks “The Book of Mormon” is THE West End show of 2013. They are
wrong, it is “Once.”
Second visit: 7.30pm performance on 24th February 2014. Still Magic. Smoother and more confident than its first visit, deeper and
somehow more optimistic. Just see it.