Once UK Tour
ONCE UK TOUR REVIEW

Ashcroft Playhouse, Fairfield Halls, Croydon

9/1/2020

 

‘Once’ starring Daniel Healy and
Emma Lucia began a UK Tour at the Ashcroft Playhouse in the newly renovated
Fairfield Halls in Croydon on the ninth of January 2020 to a packed house and
well-deserved standing ovation.

From the moment we stepped into
the auditorium the atmosphere was electric, with the incredible cast already
onstage having what composer Glen Hansard knows as a ‘trad sesh’ (where the
music is played for the love of music, and you simply join in when you know the
song). This inviting and informal start to the show was so welcoming and uplifting,
setting the tone for the beautifully human story.

 

‘Once’ is truly a show with music at its heart,
from the beautifully haunting ‘The Hill’, to the hilariously upbeat ‘Broken
Hearted Hoover Fixer Guy’, and this is highlighted by director Peter Rowe and
Choreographer Francesca Jaynes as they fluidly weave the instruments into the
movement and narrative. The choreography is led by the chorus and their
instruments, every step taken or move made being used to emphasize the emotion through
the music.



Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia as
Guy and Girl have a seemingly effortless chemistry, with Lucia’s bold and
confident Girl beautifully contrasting Healy’s awkward and hesitant Guy. These
two are soft and gentle in comparison to the other characters who are very
strong and heightened; whether it’s Billy, the rock and roll shopkeeper who aggressively
refuses to work with the Bank Manager, or Reza, Girl’s Czech flatmate who’s miniskirt
and lipstick were an indication of her expressive sexuality even before she
started after Guy, these characters are established and well defined from the
outset.

The magic of this show is how
beautifully it captures the mundane, the simplicity in the unfinished, the
beauty in the imperfect. Their story is the one we all know, guy meets girl,
but without the fairy-tale perfection, which, combined with the incredible
music, allows us to focus on the true emotions. Pegged as ‘the musical the
world fell in love with’, it’s no question that this music and story transcend it’s
Dublin setting to a much wider relativity; there is little to do but let the
music take you away and to join these eclectic characters in their Irish world.


The UK Tour is running in
theatres around the UK throughout 2020.