With its run in the West End coming to a close last weekend, and St Patrick’s Day just gone, what would be better to write about than the amazing Once: the Musical ?
I absolutely adore this musical – everything about it is truly spectacular. I’ve seen it three times (including a very late minute organised trip last Monday) and now it’s closed! *sad face* The music in this show is fantastic: the lyrics are gorgeous and heartbreaking, and I love how it uses a mixture of Czech and Irish folk styles. But what makes it so special for me is that the actors are also the musicians playing live on-stage, whilst dancing and singing! (I don’t think I’d have the coordination to do that!) The movements, although simple, were stylised and effective, and fitted in well with the realistic style of the musical.
The set was stunning to look at, in an unconventional way. It wasn’t a massive, intricate set but I think that is what made it even more special. I was extremely fond of the mirrors which were on the walls – it made it all so magical. Plus, it was the only production on the West End that you has a working bar on-stage – so you can go on the stage for a drink, AND some of the performers come on and do a pre-show music set whilst you are still on-stage!
Despite knowing the songs and the storyline by heart, what struck me every time I saw this musical was the scene changes. There are no blackouts, but instead they play music and use movements to change the set, so you don’t even realise there is a change until the next scene starts! It’s too amazing to put into words, so all I can say is that they made me very happy (sorry, my inner drama nerd is showing!) and some of the audience began applauding, because it was that incredible.
I could carry on explaining why I love this musical so much for a lot longer, but I think I’ve run out of positive adjectives to describe it! However, it is on tour in the US and Europe, and it is also opening in Australia, so if you get the opportunity to see it I highly recommend you do!