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Come From Away Artwork

All About Theatre Five Star Review

"Come From Away" has taken the world by storm with its heartfelt and powerful narrative, and its UK tour at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield is no exception. This critically acclaimed musical, created by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, is based on the true stories from the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, during the aftermath of 9/11. It highlights the remarkable hospitality and kindness shown by Gander residents to 7,000 stranded passengers. Since its debut, "Come From Away" has achieved global success, with record-breaking runs on Broadway, in the West End, Canada, Australia, and a 60-city North American tour. The Lyceum Theatre, with its historic charm and excellent acoustics, provides the perfect venue for this emotionally charged production, continuing to captivate audiences with its powerful message of humanity and resilience.

Come From Away UK tour. Com From Away company. Photo credit Craig Sugden

"Come From Away" tells the incredible true story of the town of Gander, Newfoundland, during the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Following the tragic events, 38 planes carrying approximately 7,000 passengers were diverted to this small town, nearly doubling its population overnight. The musical, crafted from the verbatim tales of those who were there, showcases the extraordinary hospitality and humanity of the Gander residents as they opened their homes and hearts to the stranded travellers. The script, by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, masterfully blends humour, tension, and emotion, offering a narrative that is as uplifting as it is poignant.

Come From Away UK tour. Com From Away company. Photo credit Craig Sugden

The production's design is a triumph of simplicity and ingenuity. Beowulf Boritt's set features a timber wall amidst a forest of trees, with the cast manipulating a few chairs and tables to create various settings, from aeroplanes to local bars. This minimalistic approach allows the story and characters to shine. Howell Binkley's lighting design enhances the emotional landscape, using hues of blue and gold to reflect the changing moods and settings, while Gareth Owen's sound design ensures every word and note is crystal clear.

Toni-Leslie James' costume design is practical and evocative, helping actors transition seamlessly between multiple roles with small but effective changes, such as jackets and hats. The music, supervised and arranged by Ian Eisendrath, is deeply rooted in traditional Newfoundland folk sounds, featuring instruments like the fiddle, mandolin, and Irish flutes. The live band, visible on stage, adds an authentic and dynamic layer to the performance, making each musical number a highlight. Songs like "Welcome to the Rock" and "Me and the Sky" are particularly memorable, leaving a lasting impact on the audience.

Come From Away UK tour. Come From Away band. Photo credit Craig Sugden

The ensemble cast of "Come From Away" is extraordinary, with each actor playing multiple roles that span a wide range of characters, from Gander locals to international passengers. Natasha J Barnes, Daniel Crowder, Amanda Henderson, Kirsty Hoiles, Oliver Jacobson, Dale Mathurin, Nicholas Pound, Sara Poyzer, Bree Smith, and Jamal Zulfiqar deliver uniformly strong performances. Their ability to switch seamlessly between characters, aided by impeccable accents and physicality, is truly impressive. At this performance, standby Holly Ann Butler took on the role of Bonnie and others (normally played by Rosie Glossop), while standby Alyn Hawke played Kevin T and others (normally played by Mark Dugdale), both delivered strong performances. Standout performances include Sara Poyzer as Beverley Bass, the pioneering female pilot, and Bree Smith as Hannah, a mother searching for her missing firefighter son. Their portrayals are deeply moving and resonate strongly with the audience.

Come From Away UK tour. Kirsty Hoiles, Daniel Crowder and company. Photo credit Craig Sugden

The UK tour of "Come From Away" is a testament to the transformative power of theatre. This production captures the essence of what makes the musical so beloved: its celebration of human kindness, resilience, and the capacity for community in the face of adversity. It is a five-star experience that leaves audiences moved, uplifted, and with a renewed faith in humanity. Whether you are a long-time fan or new to the story, "Come From Away" is an unforgettable theatrical journey that must not be missed.

Come From Away is playing at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre until Saturday, July 20, 2024. You can purchase tickets by clicking the button below.

If you would like more information about the show and its tour schedule, please click the button below to visit the show's official website.

Photo Credit - Craig Sugden

*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review


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