Girl From The North Country @ Gielgud Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://www.londonboxoffice.co.uk/girl-from-the-north-country-tickets
Booking until: 1st February 2020
Run time: 2hr 30 mins

Fresh off critically acclaimed runs Off Broadway in New York and Toronto., Conor McPherson’s Girl From The North Country returns to the West End for a limited run ahead of a Broadway debut. Using the music and lyrics of Bob Dylan, the show follows the Laine family and their acquaintances at their guesthouse in Duluth, Minnesota in 1934.

Having seen both runs in London over the past couple of years, I couldn’t find any changes/updates to this production besides from a complete changeover of cast. It’s exactly the same (excellent) set design by Rae Smith, that’s a bit rugged and run down. Same lighting, same everything. There are some new performances that bring a fresh perspective to the piece. Rachel John as Mrs Neilson and Gemma Sutton as Katherine Draper are both wonderful (and very underused). Katie Brayben plays the part of Elizabeth very well, taking over from the Olivier Award winning performance of Shirley Henderson. The difference in performances here is that when Shirley Henderson had the chance to sing, she didn’t deliver the song like she was in a screaming match, unlike Katie Brayben here. Which is a very unusual choice, maybe down to direction? Whatever it was, the sound guys could’ve at least turned her microphone down a notch during Like A Rolling Stone. Shaq Taylor is excellent as Joe Scott as is Gloria Obianyo as Marianne, despite her performance of Tight Connection To My Heart which lacked any emotional depth whatsoever.

It is a wonderful show and I like how Bob Dylan’s music is used here. If you missed the show when it was in London previously, I would say absolutely go see this before it heads to Broadway. If you have seen the show before then, you’re not missing much I’m afraid.

Until next time,

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