I’m an islander! How could I not be after such a fabulous show? Come From Away is a stunning piece of musical theatre, simply done with maximum effect and another visit is definitely in order.
The story centres around the grounded plane which landed in Canada following the 9/11 terror attacks. The very small community in Newfoundland welcomed some 7000 passengers into their lives.
The musical maps the incredible transition undertaken by every individual as lives intertwines and hope and love are the overriding themes. The musical numbers punctuating the tale are beautifully constructed with care and detail by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. ‘Welcome to the farthest place you’ll get from Disneyland’ is such a poignant and scene-setting lyric in the upbeat number ‘Welcome to the rock’.
The cast is compiled of a strong, talented ensemble of triple threat performers who each bring the various real-life characters to the fore in a caring, almost affectionate manner. It’s clear that the cast are affected by the story and keen to tell it and portray it to the best of their ability. Notable performers in an altogether flawless company include; Jenna Boyd, Helen Hobson, Robert Hands and Rachel Tucker.
It’s no wonder the show boasts four Olivier Awards, go and see it if for no other reason than it’s a wonderfully heartening experience at a time when everything else in the world feels so uncertain.
Theatre has been my passion since I can remember and although in the past couple of years I’ve not been blogging as actively about my best loved genre of entertainment, it’s never left my radar.
Last night’s Olivier Awards reignited the theatrical spark for me and there are shows I will make it my mission to see – especially given the superb performances of excerpts from many of the nominated productions. From the magnificent Disney’s The Lion King to the stonking new musical Come From Away to Six – a pop concert style musical like no other I’ve seen before – the West End is packed with shows to suit every taste. The Tina Turner musical also looks incredible and if you heard Adrienne Warren who plays the real life legend, I’m sure you can’t fail to agree that she does Ms Turner proud and then some! Rosalie Craig made me feel alive with her rendition of Being Alive from Company and a finale featuring such wonderment as the stunning cast of Olivier winner Sir Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake was a dream come true. Jason Manford was a superb host, witty and offering up relevant comedy, I found the comment about the over-charging in theatre bars particularly poignantly funny. He showed off his musical theatre side with the fantastic Janie Dee and Ruthie Henshall in tow, which was an unexpected treat indeed.
What of the award winners in the hotly contested categories? Although I’ve yet to see the show as I don’t frequent London as often as I would like, I’m delighted for Company, Jonathan Bailey and Patti Lupone – worthy winners in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical category, Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical category and Best Musical Revival. Judging by the immense performance given by the cast of Come From Away, their Best New Musical win (amongst other awards) was well deserved, the production stars one of my favourite performers, Jenna Boyd, it’s got to be worth a watch just to see her! Catherine Zuber should also be congratulated, her costume design for The King And I is a triumph and she should rightly be celebrated. Shout out to my favourite Donna and the Dynamos, Sara Poyzer, Kate Graham and Ricky Butt who presented that particular award in their Mamma Mia! costumes. Porgy and Bess was also on my radar and a winner from the Best Opera nominations which I had high hopes for. I must also add my congratulations to the terrific super-talent Monica Dolan for her win for Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for All About Eve. I haven’t seen the play yet but Monica Dolan is a chameleon on an actress and wows me in all she does.
Here’s the full list of winners….
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Bailey for Company at Gielgud Theatre
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Patti LuPone for Company at Gielgud Theatre
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC
Come From Away – Book, Music and Lyrics: David Hein and Irene Sankoff; Music Supervisor, Arrangements: Ian Eisendrath; Orchestrations: August Eriksmoen; Musical Director/UK Music Supervisor: Alan Berry; and the band of Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION
Blkdog by Botis Seva at Sadler’s Wells
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE
Akram Khan for his performance in Xenos at Sadler’s Wells
BEST ENTERTAINMENT AND FAMILY
A Monster Calls at The Old Vic
BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
Kelly Devine for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
MAGIC RADIO BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
Company at Gielgud Theatre
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith for Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Sharon D. Clarke for Caroline, Or Change at Playhouse Theatre
CUNARD BEST REVIVAL
Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre
BEST NEW COMEDY
Home, I’m Darling at National Theatre – Dorfman and Duke of York’s Theatre
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN AFFILIATE THEATRE
Flesh And Bone at Soho Theatre
WHITE LIGHT AWARD FOR BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Jon Clark for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
ROYAL ALBERT HALL AWARD FOR BEST SOUND DESIGN
Gareth Owen for Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Catherine Zuber for The King And I at The London Palladium
BLUE-I THEATRE TECHNOLOGY AWARD FOR BEST SET DESIGN
Bunny Christie for Company at Gielgud Theatre
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Chris Walley for The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Noël Coward Theatre
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Monica Dolan for All About Eve at Noël Coward Theatre
BEST NEW OPERA PRODUCTION
Katya Kabanova at Royal Opera House
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA
The ensemble of Porgy And Bess at London Coliseum
Kyle Soller for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
Patsy Ferran for Summer And Smoke at Almeida Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre
SIR PETER HALL AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR
Stephen Daldry for The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre
AMERICAN AIRLINES BEST NEW PLAY
The Inheritance at Young Vic and Noël Coward Theatre