Happy new year everyone! How are you? I hope enjoying musicals as me, discovering new shows and listening again and again to old soundtracks. I finished the year in the theatre. It’s starting to become a tradition. Last year, I saw ‘Wicked’ on the 31st December, and this time, my boyfriend and I went to the matinee performance of ‘Once’, at the Phoenix Theatre.
‘Once’ is the stage adaptation of a musical movie, written and directed by John Carney. The songs were created by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. They won an Oscar Award for ‘Falling Slowly’, one of my favourite songs in the entire musical. The show was presented in Broadway in 2012 and in London in 2013. Sadly, the last performance will be on the 21st March 2015, and the theatre will be ready for a new production, the musical adaptation of the film ‘Bend it like Beckham’.
I bought the DVD many months ago but I didn’t want to see it before the show. I usually go to the theatre knowing most of the songs or the story, but I wanted to be surprised this time. As you may know, the main role of ‘Once’ is played by Ronan Keating. He will be playing Guy until the last performance. I’m too young for Boyzone, so I don’t know him so much, I just remember the famous song ‘When you say nothing at all’, but that’s all. He is good in the stage, he performs well and his voice is really nice. All the cast is amazing also, they are extremely tallented and funny. I specially remember Girl friends, they are great.
I absolutely enjoyed ‘Once’ from the beginning until the end. It’s a thrilling musical, the story is lovely and the songs are so beautiful that made us cry. It’s a shame that this show won’t be in London anymore, because it’s something completely different, unusual, so powerful and full of humanity.
A few weeks ago, when I was on holidays with my family, I was talking about all the shows I’ve seen until now. I was complaining that producers don’t take huge risks. I sometimes feel that most of the shows follow some similar patrons. Lots of classics are coming back to London, which I’m happy to be able to see, of course, but there’s not much good new material (with some exceptions, of course). But I should shut my mouth after ‘Once’.
In ‘Once’, Guy works fixing hoover and he plays the guitar in the streets. Then he meets Girl, played by Jill Winternitz. They share their love for the music and discover each other. I don’t want to spoil that much, so I prefer to encourage you to go to the Phoenix Theatre or get the DVD of the movie. It’s a story full of great songs. While I was hearing them for the first time I was completely on the clouds, I enjoyed all of them. The best is the way they perform; the characters play the instruments on the stage and even dance, sometimes.
The stage is minimal; the scenery is just the pub where the characters meet. They just put tables, chairs… to make you think that the action is in different places. But the place is the less in this story. It’s like an alternative space where the characters play music for fun. They express their feelings and emotions with it; it’s a way of life. The piano appears and disappears depending on the scene. The characters are sitting on the sides of the stage waiting to perform and watching the scenes. All details are beautifully maintained.
I couldn’t enjoy more ‘Once’. Everything is fantastic. First of all, the songs are amazing. Composed for the movie, the new version and style make them so catchy and wonderful. All of them sound good, in an acoustic style not really popular in musicals. The story is really good also, is dramatic with some comedy as well. I’m sure everybody falls in love with this musical, it has something so special that touches your heart.