Once at the Phoenix theatre. Four stars

May 2, 2013

once 006What a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday night. This gentle,charming musical starts before curtain up as the musicians play in the bar that is set up on stage. Do get there early to join them on stage where you can buy your drink in a spill-proof souvenir plastic cup.

on stage pre-drinks

on stage pre-drinks

And this really is a musical. The wonderfully talented performers play and sing and deliver some beautiful choreographed moves. The band are the actors. The actors are the band. This is a story of a musician whose passion for music and life itself is rekindled by the arrival of a feisty Czech who will not take no for an answer. She pours all her energies in to getting his songs sung and for him to believe in himself. The incidental stories have poignancy and humour too and the beautiful music is performed with real heart and yearning.
It’s based on a film from about 2006 and the stage version has the feel of a low budget indie-flick in a way. A good way. This is all about the music, the people and the story. It’s not a showy number. The set is an old pub. The costumes are mostly Primark. And I’m not sure if I’ve just been to watch a band or a play. But whichever it is, I think I want to go to see it again. Four stars.


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