I saw this show for the first time on 25th June. It was so unbelievably good! The use of instruments by the actors on stage was inspired. The incredibly talented cast were infallible, there wasn't a weak link in any one person. The story was hilarious in parts and moved me to tears in others! The addition of being able to stand on the stage before the show and in the interval just completed what was an incredible experience for me!
Opened 16 Mar 2013
Phoenix Theatre 0843 886 1436
I fell in love with thus show in the first 5 minutes, the songs are superb and the actors are amazing, and you find yourself getting swept away.
I was disappointed with Once. For me, it didn't live up to the incredible hype that it received. I thought the songs were unremarkable and the solo singing quite poor (shouty and sometimes out of tune). I certainly can't remember a single tune now. The scene changes were incredibly clever, very slick and well-staged. The set was good, especially the use of the mirror at the back. My favourite part was Dublin Bay and the lights... I won't spoil it, but it was very innovative. There were some very funny bits and the way they used sub-titles for the foreign language parts was clever. The cast were all very talented musicians which was an unexpected bonus. I’m afraid I didn’t feel any emotion as I just didn’t buy in to the characters and was surprised when it ended as I thought that the emotional bits were still to come! All-in-all, a huge disappointment. I'm only glad that I didn't pay full price for the tickets.
Hated it. Too much over sentimental, X Factor type singing. Paddy did not sing, he shouted. Awful
But where are the memorable TUNES?
I went on my own having read the US reviews and I watched the film the week before. This show is stunning. It's a love story with very little twist but it is done so well I sat with tears running down my face all the way through the last number. (Not a good look for an older man sitting on his own). If you love music and musicians and if you allow the songs to become hypnotic (they certainly need more than one listening) and if you just sit back in your seat and engage with the characters you will love this show. I went to Book of Mormon the day before. I difference is I watched the BOM but I was part of ONCE. I am going again and word of mouth will ensure this runs.
Well I am obviously in the minority here as most seem to like it but I thought it was bad, infact so bad that we left before the interview. To see this story and save money I could have walked into any Irish pub. Some of the songs were so depressing that if I had had a knife I would have slashed my wrists. I believe it is booking until November--Good luck!!!!
Once is what entertainment used to be about, talent,stunning set, genuine entertainers and a great evening which is what theatre goers are looking for. Good luck ONCE
Once is the little musical that came in under the radar to sweep the Tonys in 2012 and it's easy to see why as within ten minutes we had both proclaimed this the best new musical since Avenue Q. It's a deceptively simple story: Irish busker meets Czech single mum and they slowly fall in love as she encourages him to pursue his music. Not much else happens, there are no set changes or huge dance routines but it succeeds brilliantly with a first half bursting with infectious charm and a second half of almost unbearable poignancy as they edge towards what must surely be a longed for coming togtether. The songs are superb folk tinged contemporary acoustic rock and includes one which might be one of the most yearningly beautiful ever heard on a West End stage. They are brilliantly performed by an incredible cast of actor musicians who appear as fully formed charcters as well as providing lovely instrumental and vocal backing. It's invidious to pick anyone out but the gorgeous Flora Spencer-Longhurst particularly impresses as a young Czech good-time girl as well as providing vocal harmonies and a plaintive violin. Declan Bennett is charismatic as the busker and beautiful Zrinka Cvitesic is sensational as the unnamed girl, kooky without being irritating and wonderfully portraying a deepening love despite conflicted loyalties. She also sings and plays piano beautifully. Purely based on the CD this London production might be even better than the Broadway version (the same was true of Avenue Q). After the failure of Spring Awakening and the failure of Next to Normal to even risk crossing the Atlantic I am nervous about predicting great success for Broadway transfers of new shows. Once could get lost against a marketing monolith in Book of Mormon but the reviews seem mostly favourable and, again like Avenue Q, I am sure that word of mouth recommendations can build an audience for this wonderfully emotional and heart warming show. We have already planned a return visit in a couple of months and I find it hard to believe that we will see a better show this year.
Inspiring alternative to the stereotypical West End musical. yes, its a love story but it's also a story about identity, tribes, belonging and emigration. A beautiful script by Enda Walsh that builds subtly on John Carney's screenplay. Brilliant work by all the creatives
This is musically refreshingly different, but the plot is too weak and some of the diction shocking. Great performances from the cast generally, especially in the a capella, but It really is a bit thin, drawn out and overlong.
A refreshing & beautiful piece of Musical Theatre, I went to see this a couple of weeks ago & the next day booked again... Lovely Performances, this should be the hottest ticket in town...
It seemed to me like some loosely connected songs, a very basic plot line, many superfluous characters & often bizarre dialogue. Yes, it's generally well performed but much as I wanted to like it, I just didn't get it or what it's trying to be