Come From Away @ Phoenix Theatre

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://comefromawaylondon.co.uk
Booking until: 14th September 2019
Production Photos by: Matthew Murphy
Run time: 100 mins

After taking Broadway and Toronto by storm, Irene Sankoff & David Hein’s critically acclaimed musical Come From Away has finally arrived in London. The musical takes place in Gander, Newfoundland just after the 9/11 attacks and the week that followed to show how the small town took in thousands of passengers who were stranded as a result. The musical uses real life accounts of passengers who were stranded, air crew working on the planes as well as residents of Gander to tell the story.

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I’ve been waiting with excitement to see this show due to my friends giving the show such high praise. But one thing they did make a note of was how much they cried at the show. Because of this, I was expecting to be a blubbering mess throughout it. But something that did surprise me about the show was how much I found myself laughing. Sankoff & Hein’s book balances the serious aspects of the time with the comedic elements really well because it reminds us that we can find the humour even in the moments of darkness. Also, I find it refreshing to see humour on stage that is so wholesome and isn’t mocking/offensive.

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This incredible group of performers is one of the tightest ensembles currently performing in the West End. The group is made up of 12 performers but they are juggling at least twice the amount of characters between them. The direction by Christopher Ashley is so tight that the entire cast can switch between the various characters, accents and costumes so seamlessly. The entire cast come together like a well oiled machine and are so sync with each other, there is no weak link between them. All of them do an incredible job but, I have to highlight some stand out performances. Rachel Tucker as Captain Beverley Bass performing ‘Me and the Sky’ was goosebumps inducing. Emma Salvo as reporter Janice Mosher was loveable and quirky and I loved her storyline of being the only reporter in Gander that was close to the action. And finally, Cat Simmons’ powerful performance as Hannah, who was waiting to hear from her firefighter son who was in New York when the attacks happened. Her performance as a desperate mother was incredibly moving and heart wrenching.

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The score is absolutely vibrant, engaging and uplifting, which heavily reflects the message of the show. Let’s face it, the world right now is an absolute horrific shit show. And yet, this show couldn’t have arrived in the West End at a more perfect time. Come From Away is a joyous and beautiful show about community, inclusivity and what it means to be a human. It’s February and I’ve already found one of my favourite shows of the year. Take your friends, take your family, take your loved ones to the rock and go and feel inspired for 100 minutes out of your day.

Until next time,

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