Arts & Entertainment

Once is not enough!

Toby Francis & Stefani Caccamo

Toby Francis & Stefani Caccamo. Photo: Robert Catto.

After two incredibly successful seasons, Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Once returns to the Eternity Playhouse this June for a third encore. Audiences have fallen in love with the characters, the songs and the good feels and just can’t get enough of this unique, charming musical.

“I think this show surprises people,” says Stefanie Caccamo, trying to explain its popularity. “I think they’re genuinely surprised by the simplicity of the story and how universal it is. You know, it’s a very simple meeting of two people – and it’s that kind of love, too, that springs out of the desperation and hope to move forward in life.”

Caccamo is one of several original cast members who have been with the production since its creation in 2019.

Stefani Caccamo.

Stefani Caccamo. Photo: Robert Catto.

Once is an enchanting tale about a young mother from the Czech Republic (Caccamo) who plays the piano and writes songs. She crosses paths with a guitar-playing, song-writing Irishman (Toby Francis). Both of their lives are in stalemate but they are re-invigorated by the exhilarating spirit of the people around them.

Talented ensemble cast

All the performers dance, sing, and play instruments on stage.

Like other cast members, Caccamo feels her character has been informed over time by her real life. Experiencing motherhood vicariously through her sisters has significantly influenced how she plays her role.

“So, with the second rendition and now the third, I feel like I’m just having a ball. I’m running around, I’m so energetic, I’m having so much fun because I’m being myself now.”

Excited to return to where it all began

“We built the show in that theatre, and what is so special about it is how intimate it is. The first row is on the stage, so the audience very much feels like they’re flies on the wall,” says Caccamo. “The energy that the audience brings completely changes the show, so having that element is really exciting.”

A smaller theatre allows them to do special things. During the a capella version of Gold, several singers on stage harmonise with the rest of the cast who have snuck around behind the audience. The effect is electrifying.

Some new cast members have joined the crew this season, and Caccamo is thrilled, “It just brings in new ideas and new energies, and that’s going to be really fresh for everyone as well… We’re really excited to be telling this story and the audience is so excited to be seeing theatre, so the combination of those two things is creating something really magical in the room.”

Jun 24-Jul 31. Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst. $67-$119+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.darlinghursttheatre.com/once

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