Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Once The Musical

Photo: Robert Catto

The Irish romantic movie Once (2007) spawned an award-winning theatrical musical with productions continually being staged in many countries including America and the UK. Amongst its accolades the musical scored eight Tony Awards and an Academy and Grammy Award.

The Darlinghurst Theatre Company production in Sydney was a critical and box office success when it played at the Eternity Playhouse in 2019 and now, after a successful season in Perth returns to mesmerise audiences in Sydney.

The simplistic story set in Dublin, Ireland surrounds a 30-something busker named Guy (Toby Francis), an incredibly talented musician whose high hopes of making it in the music industry are stalled. By chance he meets ‘Girl’ (Stefanie Caccamo), a Czech immigrant who also has a passion for music. In five days, she rebuilds his love for the craft and his road to success has been pathed. It’s a therapeutic relationship for both of them, but will love inevitably flourish and possibly complicate their friendship?

Once is an incredibly mesmerising musical experience in which the music is equally as significant as the dialogue in the storytelling process. Dramatic and comedic elements are interwoven, and the musical numbers alternate from electrifying to tender and poignant.

There are 12 performers on stage who sing, dance, act and as an ensemble are also the orchestra playing instruments that include violins, the piano, and guitars – and one on roller skates!

Mandatory to the success of this musical was the casting of the leads. Toby Francis and Stefanie Caccamo portray Guy and Girl respectively, their charisma complementing each other’s performance. Their singing is breathtaking and when the signature melody Slowly Falling is performed there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Photo: Robert Catto

The complexities of love and relationships are explored as is the healing power of music, but the resonating theme is how empty life would be without the inspiration to move forward and follow one’s dreams.

This production of Once is faultless, remarkable, and unmissable five-star entertainment suitable for all audiences and quintessentially highlights the joy that quality live theatre brings to audiences.

Until Aug 14. Darlinghurst Theatre Company, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst. $67-$119+b.f. Tickets & Info:

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