Sunday, 20 April 2014
Once at the Phoenix
We decided to see "Once" at the Phoenix Theatre and managed to bag some central seats in the Dress Circle.
I'd seen the delightful indie movie, which had been made using sometimes guerrilla filming techniques.
The stage adaptation has won a fistful of awards on Broadway and recently gained Olivier awards including for the best actress in a musical, which went to Zrinka Civitesic. The guy in the stage version is Arthur Darville, who played 'Rory' in Doctor Who.
They are both accomplished musicians as indeed are the rest of the cast for what is certainly a great night out at a show.
As we arrived in the theatre, there was already a pre-show ceilidh running on the stage, with members of the audience sharing the space with the cast, who were playing feisty folk song arrangements.
Then the show proper got under way, with the love story of an Irish guy and a Czech girl who meet in Dublin. It is a simple story, well told and including some good knockabout humour as well as a whole range of good songs.
At interval time, the stage again becomes a bar for the whole audience, and we wandered downstairs to buy some Murphy's from the boards.
The bar room is the core of the set, which also uses a few tables and some clever lighting to represent the different locations of the story. It follows a similar line to the original movie, although is different enough to be fully enjoyed in it own right.
I found the original movie charming, and thoroughly enjoyed this production of the stage version, which I'd certainly see again, given a chance.
As one of the original writers, Markéta Irglová, commented "It resonates differently within different people because, I think, it brings people back to their own stories, to the times that they've stood at similar crossroads and had to make choices that would affect the rest of their life and they would never be the same afterwards."
...And it's a jolly good evening out.