Arts & Entertainment

Once: The Musical

Photo: Robert Catto

The 2019 theatrical production of Once broke all box office records when it played in Sydney and now returns to mesmerise audiences all over again.

Actor Jay Lag’aia who plays the father of a struggling musician in Dublin explained that it’s a story of hope.

“This busker called Guy is also a hoover repair man living with his father and writes fantastic songs. You can have fantastic ideas but if you don’t have anybody to breathe life into those ideas, they’re just ideas. A Czech girl comes along with such vigour and lifts him up in five days, transforming this lackadaisical young man into someone who has direction.”

Lag’aia is excited to be involved in this production which boasts 12 performers on stage singing and playing instruments. “When in my lifetime would I be able to play such a great character and also be able to go back to my roots as a musician and play these instruments?”

It’s been said that Once is one of the most challenging musicals for all artists involved and Lag’aia agrees wholeheartedly.

“As a veteran of 40 years I’ve done the big ones – The Lion King, Superstar and Star Wars – but the simplicity of this is, if you don’t sing nobody is singing, if you don’t play nobody is playing, so you don’t only sing and dance, but you also have to perform and create these vignettes and stories.”

Lag’aia is adamant that this show is suitable for all audiences.

“Bring your four-year-old, bring your eight-year-old, it’s right across the board as it’s a universal story that young kids can also aspire to. Audiences should marvel at the technicality and watch these actors not only be the orchestra, but also be the performers. That’s the great thing about this musical, if it looks easy it isn’t and that’s our job to make you forget your lives for three hours.”

Until Jul 18. Darlinghurst Theatre Company, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst. $72-$110+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.darlinghursttheatre.com