Posts with the label Come From Away
Showing posts with label Come From Away. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Come From Away. Show all posts

Friday, 1 July 2022

Come From Away to Play Final Performance in West End on 7 January 2023

The multi award-winning London production of global hit musical Come From Away will extend in the West End from September until the end of the year before holding its final performance at the Phoenix Theatre on Saturday 7 January 2023.

By the time the West End company take their final bow, this critically acclaimed production will have played 1048 performances in London, 47 performances in Dublin and won many major UK theatre Awards including the Olivier, Critics’ Circle and What’s On Stage Awards for ‘Best Musical’.

The current London cast of Come From Away includes Jenna Boyd (Beulah and others), James Doherty (Claude and others), Mark Dugdale (Kevin T/Garth and others), Alice Fearn (Beverley/Annette and others), Kate Graham (Diane and others), Robert Hands (Nick/Doug and others), Jonathan Andrew Hume (Kevin J/Ali and others), Gemma Knight Jones (Hannah and others), Kirsty Malpass (Bonnie and others), Harry Morrison (Oz and others), Emma Salvo (Janice and others), Lejaun Sheppard (Bob and others), with Chiara Baronti, Ricardo Castro, Stuart Hickey, Alexander McMorran, Sarah MorrisonLucy ParkJennifer Tierney and Matthew Whennell-Clark.

The Come From Away band includes Alan Berry (Musical Director/UK Musical Supervisor), Matt Bashford (Whistles/Irish Flute/Uillean Pipes), Aoife Mairead Ní Bhriain (Fiddle), Oli Briant (Electric/Acoustic Guitar), Justin Quinn (Acoustic Guitars/Mandolins/Bouzouki), Joey Grant (Electric and Acoustic Bass),  Ray Fean (Bodhrán/Percussion), Ian Whitehead (Drums/Percussion), Huw Evans (Associate Musical Director), Andrew Barrett for Lionella Music, LLC (Electronic Music Design), Phij Adams (Associate Keyboard Programmer), Ryan Driscoll (Music Preparation), and David Gallagher (Orchestral Management).

Come From Away shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives.

Experience the joy, heartache and soaring music as the spirited locals and global passengers overcome their fears and a world of cultural differences to come together and forge friendships that will stay with them forever. The first female American Airlines captain, the quick-thinking town mayor, the mother of a New York firefighter and the eager local news reporter are among the many real characters caught at the start of the moment that changed the course of history, and whose stories became a true celebration of hope, humanity and unity.

The international hit musical has celebrated sold-out, record-breaking engagements on Broadway, in Canada, throughout Australia, and on a 60-city North American Tour.

The Come From Away creative team includes Irene Sankoff and David Hein (Book, Music and Lyrics), Christopher Ashley (Director), Kelly Devine (Musical Staging), Ian Eisendrath (Music Supervision and Arrangements), Beowulf Boritt (Scenic Design), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Howell Binkley (Lighting Design), Gareth Owen (Sound Design), David Brian Brown (Hair Design), August Eriksmoen (Orchestrations), Pippa Ailion CDG and Natalie Gallacher CDG (Casting), Joel Goldes (Dialect Coach), Michael Rubinoff (Creative Consultant), Bob Hallett (Newfoundland Music Consultant),  Shirley Fishman (Dramaturg) and Tara Overfield (Associate Director and Choreographer UK).

Come From Away is produced in the UK by Junkyard Dog Productions and Smith & Brant Theatricals. The European premiere of Come From Away was co-produced with the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre.

Tickets for Come From Away at the Phoenix Theatre are available via comefromawaylondon.co.uk.

Come From Away to Play Final Performance in West End on 7 January 2023

Friday, 1 July 2022

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Olivia's Top Shows of 2019



This year I saw 150 shows, from glitzy West End productions to smaller fringe pieces and many UK tours. Before we step into the new decade, I want to feature some of my favourite pieces of the year and those which have stuck with me in some way.



Dolly Parton has been a family favourite growing up so this musical ticks all the boxes for me. 9 to 5 is a catchy, colourful celebration of girl power. With another tour planned for next year, this show is sure to delight audiences in 2020 and beyond.



Six featured in last year's Top 10 list, but having seen it a few times this year, I thought it warranted a place once again. The fantastically, feminist musical is pure joy on stage and a complete treat. Enthralling audiences around the world with its pop/musical theatre crossover sound and the heart which is retained in all its incarnations, Six's world domination is only just beginning. 



I mentioned the Broadway production of Come From Away last year, but 2019 saw the triumphant West End transfer of this show which is completely spectacular and special beyond compare. Telling the heartfelt story of the unity formed in a small village in Canada during the traumas of 9/11, the Celtic sounds and complete ensemble feel of the piece make it effective and oh so powerful.



Performed by members of the British Theatre Academy (BTA), the young cast transported audiences on a mystical journey of love and magic. Lee Proud and Harrison Clark created a production worthy of much acclaim and showcased some of the future stars of UK theatre.



Having missed the Open Air production of Jesus Christ Superstar, I was thrilled to get the chance to see it at the Barbican and it did not disappoint. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's score soared thanks to the ingenious staging which made the space feel as though it was outside, and Lee Curran's lighting which made the atmosphere both electric and intimate. Amazing performances all round made this a production not to be forgotten.



Not only was it a treat to see this enchanting song cycle by Dave Malloy brought to life by such talented actor-musos, but getting to experience the new space of the Boulevard Theatre was a delight in itself. The whole space feels fresh, welcoming, modern and all in all a wonderful addition to the London theatre scene. Ghost Quartet was a wacky mish-mash, but there's something about it that was truly enchanting.


The Cher Show | Neil Simon Theatre

If you'd told me at the beginning of the year that The Cher Show would be in my top shows, not just of 2019 but ever, I doubt I would've believed you. The cast were amazing but as someone unfamiliar with Cher's music and kind of bewildered by the whole idea, I didn't expect to come out beaming after one of the best night's ever at the theatre. The biopic musical tells the story of the superstar's rise to fame via three Cher's representing different times in her life. The performances are other worldly and the humour hits all the right spots. This is the embodiment of a grand musical and I can only hope it comes to the West End sometime soon!


The Jungle | St Ann's Warehouse

This is another show I missed in London but was lucky enough to catch in New York at the incredible setting of St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. This is the most striking piece of theatre I have ever witnessed, and I can't even explain how spectacular the entire production was. The community feel that was created within moments of entering the theatre is like nothing I've ever experienced and every element of theatricality was so perfectly used to highlight the stories of those on stage.



The Adam Guettal musical was on my 'To See' bucket list, so it was a complete joy to experience the sumptuous score performed by such a stellar cast this year. The story about young Clara falling in love with Fabrizio on a trip to Italy is beautiful and made me want to go to and have my own romantic holiday accompanied by a beautiful classical soundtrack.



Fiver played a brief run at the Southwark Playhouse and earned itself much praise and many fans. With a fantastic score by Alex James Ellison, the musical follows the story of a £5 note and how it's value changes in the hands of various people. This was a completely unexpected treat of a show which completely enraptured me and left me feeling joyous, thanks to the wonderful mix of musical styles and fantastic array of stories involved. The superb cast of five gave everything and made it a real gem of a piece. A delightful musical, lets hope we see more of Fiver in the future.

Olivia's Top Shows of 2019

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Monday, 18 February 2019

Come From Away, Phoenix Theatre | Review


Come From Away
Phoenix Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 12th February 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Come From Away is a giant hug in a musical which even the most icy of people will be moved by, as it portrays a time of amazing and heroic hospitality under immense pain and pressure.

Discussed as a 9/12 musical, Come From Away is set on and after the horrific events of September 11th 2001, but instead of leaving you downtrodden, it will leave you inspired and probably feeling a little sentimental. Written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, it is an incredibly well rounded and fluent piece of theatre which provides catharsis whist becoming a celebration of goodness.

The show is set in the small town of Gander in ,Newfoundland Canada, which homes just over 11,000 people. On September 11th 2001, 38 planes were diverted to Gander airport, with 7,000 passengers and crew plus several pets and a pair of chimpanzees who were headed for a zoo. The people of Gander came together to provide shelter, food and friendship to the 'plane people'; and all who were there have incredible stories, bonds and live changing experiences from their time. They may have left Gander, but Gander never left them.


After interviewing many Plane People and Ganderites, David and Irene condensed these stories into a 100 minute show that features sleek role-swapping, musical theatre numbers and catchy Celtic tunes. Christopher Ashley's direction is crisp and to the point but also leaves room for us to study the story further, and of course allows us to look at ourselves and wonder what we would do in the same situation. This is further helped by Tara Overfield-Wilkinson's relentless and sharp choreography and Howell Binkley's striking and mood-evoking lighting. These aspects married with Beowulf Borritt's well thought out space, keep up momentum and evolve the story as simply but effectively as possible.

The heart of this show is community, and like the stories themselves, it is built around ensemble and teamwork.  The typically Newfoundland scenes such as the 'Screech In', feel like we've stepped into a pub and are really experiencing a group of people enjoying life. In such a group led piece, with smooth character changes, amazing use of simple props/set, it is unfair to name standout performances. The cast as a whole bring these people and stories to life and it's truly moving to witness such a wonderful and transformative piece of theatre. 

The cast is comprised of Jenna Boyd, Nathanael Campbell, Clive Carter, Mary Doherty, Robert Hands, Helen Hobson, Jonathan Andrew Hume, Harry Morrison, Emma Salvo, David Shannon, Cat Simmons and Rachel Tucker with Chiara Baronti, Mark Dugdale, Bob Harms, Kirsty Malpass, Tania Mathurin, Alexander McMorran, Brandon Lee Sears and Jennifer Tierney. All of whom, alongside the distinguished on stage band  (led by Alan Berry) and all the crew, who are unseen during the 100 minutes, should be equally applauded for their work on the must-see show in the West End. 

Concise and well-rounded, Come From Away is a stunning and poignant reminder of human kindness, which will surely leave you standing a little taller and smiling a little more.

Come From Away runs at the Phoenix Theatre and is currently booking until September 2019

photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Come From Away, Phoenix Theatre | Review

Monday, 18 February 2019

Sunday, 17 February 2019

In Conversation With... The Real Nick and Diane Marson with Robert Hands and Helen Hobson | Come From Away | Interview

Come From Away is one of the most inspiring and heartwarming musicals to hit the West End in a long time. Telling the story of the planes diverted during 9/11 and what happened to the people on them and those in the place they landed: Gander, Newfoundland. 

One amazing story is that of Nick and Diane Marson who met on a diverted plane and fell unexpectedly in love. Editor, Olivia, got to chat to Nick and Diane about the show alongside their actor counterparts, Robert Hands and Helen Hobson...


Can you sum up Come From Away in 5 words?
Nick Marson: A show about human kindness
Diane Marson: Love and acceptance
Robert Hands (plays Nick): Friendship
Helen Hobson (plays Diane): Human spirit, community


What's it been like seeing yourselves brought to life on stage?
Diane: well it was rather unnerving at first but we're used to it by now. We've seen the show eighty-eight times, in nine cities, in four countries and with four casts, so we're used to it now. But at first it was very unusual to hear your words come back to you.

Nick: When we gave our story to this nice young couple, David and Irene, they were making a musical not a documentary so they could've done anything with our stories, but they kept it very true and I'm very grateful and thankful to them. Our story was in the Washington Post and the reporter said "it has to be true, nobody could've made all of that stuff up!"

Helen: I think that was a clincher for one of our producers, John Brandt. When he was first invited to come and see the show, to find out if he wanted to be part of it, he watched the show and wondered about the love story, he wasn't sure because it seemed too amazing. But, Randy one of the other producers said "come with me, there's a couple you need to meet" and introduced him to Nick and Diane... and John was in!

Diane: At the time it was just our life that was unfolding; it wasn't something we had any designs on producing or writing about, we were just living it.

Nick: Neither one of us got on the airplane that day expecting a romantic occurrence



What's it like to bring real people's stories to life onstage?
Helen: It was good because our producer released us from the notion that we would have to do a carbon copy and do an impersonation of these two. He said you do what's in the script and what we put out and yes, you have to learn a Texan accent but that's really about it, so the pressure was off in that way. We were lucky enough to FaceTime them [Nick and Diane] early on in rehearsals which was great and we've improvised and used their real selves in the show.

Robert: They're so natural together so we try and bring that and make it as real as possible without trying to impersonate them as such.



The show is five days condensed into one hundred minutes, are there any stories from those days that are special to you and didn't make it into the show?
Nick: There are many other things that happened. There's the classic one where we went for a walk with another couple, and you see that in the show, but it was actually a man and his wife, the wife was a doctor and she had to turn back because she had sandals on and it was a gravel road. We carried on, and this was a checkmark in my mind because we went into a convenience store to buy a diet coke and some trail mix and normally I would buy it, cause that's what guys do, and Diane whipped it up and paid for it!

Diane: Well I figured if I did that, he'd have to sit on the park bench with me and spend more  time with me so there was method behind the madness!

Nick: Also, the show gloss' over it but the next year we go back to our lives and for me it was an emotional rollercoaster. I was thinking "was that real?", "is that woman really how I remember her?... I've got to go back and check it out" which I did and then I proposed to her
Diane: On the phone in November
Nick: and I was working in England and wondered how I was going to get to Houston but fortunately the parent company of mine was based in Houston, so the president of the company in England made it possible for me to transfer to Houston. But I was doing two weeks here, two weeks there and it was an emotional roller coaster itself. So I got to Houston properly in May and was a nobody; I didn't exist, I couldn't get a car or a driving licence, or anything until I had a social security number.

Diane: It was a lot of paperwork! We had to come back here in June and July of 2002 to get him a work visa because without that he couldn't get anything in the United States. We couldn't even get married in the United States.

Nick: It's a huge mountain to climb to move countries and basically, I saw this lady, threw my life up in the air and went off to America! It sounds very romantic but it was also stressful and took quite a toll on us. Of course it was worth it though!


How has the show been going so far?
Nick: The first time we saw the show here, there was a line of Delta Airways stewards behind us and they were a mess! When they found out who we were they were even more of a mess! And the lady behind us couldn't stop crying, so I said "come here, I've got to give you a hug!"

Whether they come here excited for the show or not really bothered, people are going to leave happy!

Diane: It's a 9/12 show, what happened on September 11th, everyone remembers that, but this is forward and it's a feel good story.


Come From Away runs at the Phoenix Theatre and is currently booking until September 2019

photo credit: Helen Maybanks and Matthew Murphy

In Conversation With... The Real Nick and Diane Marson with Robert Hands and Helen Hobson | Come From Away | Interview

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Come From Away, Abbey Theatre, Dublin | Review


Come From Away (European Premiere) 
Abbey Theatre, Dublin 
Reviewed on Wed 19 December 2018 by Damien Murray
★★★★

As a former refuelling stop for trans-Atlantic flights, the remote town of Gander in Newfoundland was once well used to having many visitors on board passing planes. 

In 2001, due to its position and facilities, it unexpectedly found itself playing host to 38 international flights filled with 7,000 passengers of many nationalities during the horrific attacks of 9/11 on the North-Eastern region of the United States. 

This is not a show about those atrocities, but rather a true story of generosity, gratitude and ultimate hope performed as a theatrical documentation of the unfolding events at Gander as a result of the attacks and the efforts of a small island population to help their fellow man in exceptional and demanding circumstances. 

Ahead of its transfer to London at the end of January, it is, perhaps, appropriate that the European premiere of Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s relatively new, but highly-acclaimed, award-winning musical, is being staged in Dublin as Newfoundland owes much of its music, language and culture to Ireland. 


This fact is reflected in the show’s accents, humour and music, with a distinctly ‘celtic’ approach to the score, instrumentation and underscoring in this Abbey Theatre co-production with Junkyard Dog Productions and Smith & Brant Theatricals. 

Playing a multitude of roles with a quick-fire change of accent, hat, shirt or jacket to convey each character, the hard-working and 12-strong cast - Jenna Boyd, Nathanael Campbell, Clive Carter, Mary Doherty, Robert Hands, Helen Hobson, Jonathan Andrew Hume, Harry Morrison, Emma Salvo, David Shannon, Cat Simmons and, returning to the city where she made her professional debut, Ireland’s own West End and Broadway star, Rachel Tucker - prove the perfect team for this exceptional ensemble piece. 

Indeed, the captivating cast takes ensemble performance to a whole new and higher level in this factual, intense and heart-warming drama. 

Performances here are of such a uniformly impressive standard, it is almost impossible to single anyone out for special praise, but it must be said that, with her commanding stage presence, quality vocals and passionate performance, it is no accident that one of Rachel Tucker’s main characters is, appropriately, that of the Captain. 


By necessity, the casting is diverse to reflect the wide cross section of some of those who were caught up in the Gander situation with people of various shapes, colours and creeds being represented; each with their own story and circumstances and each dealing with the situation in their own way. 

With Beowulf Boritt’s simple, sparse and static (apart from a stage revolve, which, thankfully, is not overused) set representing the remoteness of the forested island being cleverly lit by Howell Binkley’s mood-inspiring lighting, this production is greatly helped by Christopher Ashley’s no thrills direction and Tara Overfield-Wilkinson’s relentless choreography and movement to advance the evolving story in its 100-minute performance time, without ever losing the attention of its audience. 

Because of the nature of its unfolding story, this unconventional musical benefits greatly by the absence on an interval to ensure no loss of momentum or continuity. 

The show is also unusual in terms of the musical score, which mixes Celtic with folk and rock with the addition of a few ballads and, with tongue firmly in cheek, gives a musical nod to Titanic to add humour to the piece. 

Apart from when they take centre stage for a bit of an international hoe-down during Screech In (highlighting the importance of music as an international language), the eight accomplished musicians, under Alan Berry’s musical direction, are discretely positioned at the side of the stage. 


Musical highlights are dominated by the ensemble’s excellent choral work throughout, particularly in songs like Darkness And Trees, while the beautiful rendition of Prayer reinforces the commonality of music in religion. 

Other highlights include Rachel Tucker’s moving showcase song, Me And The Sky, and the tender love song, Stop The World. 

In the midst of mixed emotions, fear, confusion, panic, terror and tragedy, we find that camaraderie, friendship, tolerance, respect and humour are universal and all shine through in this story of interaction between strangers when they are thrown together in the most unusual of circumstances and when relationships survive and grow with random acts of kindness. 

Human resourcefulness becomes second nature as all rally round to provide such practical essentials as food, clothing, accommodation, language interpreters, counselling, medical and spiritual care, money and special care needed for babies and animals that were on any of the grounded flights. 

In addition to the positive feelings when they are all pulling together as one, a painful feeling of loneliness and emptiness descends on everyone immediately after they eventually leave to go home similar to that experienced at the end of an Irish wake. 

This story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in a time of need is truly inspirational and this intense, gripping, emotional and heart-warming production perfectly captures the generosity of the human spirit and the hope that has been born out of tragedy to create an oasis of harmony in a world of confusion. 

Come From Away runs at the Abbey Theatre until Sat 19th January 2019 

Photo credit: Matthew Murphy 

Come From Away, Abbey Theatre, Dublin | Review

Sunday, 23 December 2018