Come From Away: Review

There was no competition for which theatre event of 2019 I was most looking forward to and it just happened to occur in the first month of the year. Come From Awayhas been playing on Broadway since 2017 and when I was lucky enough to see it there last year, it hopped to the top of my list for a West End transfer but I never thought we’d get it so soon.

I’ve written about Come From Awayhere before but for those who don’t know, it’s a one act musical exploring the lives of the people who were stranded in Gander, Newfoundland when the US airspace closed on 9/11 and all planes in the air had to land. A population of 9,000 grew by 7,000 (plus a handful of cats, dogs, and two chimpanzees) for five days and it created a story that definitely deserves to be told. There’s a tinge of tragedy, but the overwhelming feeling you’ll have is a renewed belief in humanity. You’ll definitely cry at least once (and if you’re me, that one time will last the entire show), so don’t forget a pack of tissues.

Having already seen the show before, I did have a bar of comparison with a cast I already loved and I was a little concerned no one would be able to live up to the original production. The UK cast has already played a short run in Ireland prior to their opening here in London so they’re polished and comfortable in their roles and with that familiarity comes a freer performance that plays around a little. Every member of the cast has perfect comic timing but will be making you cry five minutes later – it’s this barrage of emotions that makes Come From Awaya must see. The set is simple, there’s no ground-breaking special effects or crazy choreography, but there’s community and comfort and characters you can relate to. When every show seems to cast the same archetypical person, here you will find a stage full of people that reflects the best of our diverse humanity.

Before I’d always been trying to convince people they had to fly all the way to New York City to take their chance to see this show and admittedly no one ever took the suggestion, but now all you have to do is stroll down Charing Cross Road, so you have absolutely no excuse not to experience the greatest musical I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot!)

 

 

Come From Away is currently booking at the Phoenix Theatre until September 14th2019