Date: Saturday 31st July 2021 (2:30pm)
Venue: Phoenix Theatre
Jonathan Andrew Hume
Gemma Knight Jones
The remarkable true story of how a small town stepped up and welcomed people from all over the world when they needed it the most. 7000 air passengers were grounded in Canada during the 9/11 attacks and the small Newfoundland community invited them in and did as much as they possibly could for them. Given a truly unique musical spin to highlight just how much the human spirit saved and helped people when they needed it the most.
Come From Away is the winner of every major UK award for Best New Musical.
I still find 9/11 one of those truly difficult events to come to terms with I was 14 years old when it happened and to this day whenever it is mentioned in anything or on the anniversary, it truly still sends shivers across my whole body. It is something that I cannot understand to this day in terms of how truly horrendous it was not only for the US but for the world and it really did change things. Watching this show made me really think about all the people that were actually in the air on planes when it was happening, I had never really thought about that before. What happened to those people and those planes? This is certainly answered for 38 of those planes!
To then have this remarkable story put into musical form in spectacular fashion was something that I truly enjoyed, even more so that this was my first West End theatre trip since 2019. It felt like a perfect musical to be watching given everything we have been through over the past 20 months. It is uplifting and heartwarming but also heartbreaking at times, which I guess really nails how much we go through in life.
With a small cast of only 12 performers who change between many characters throughout works in such a marvellous way, the show does not have an interval and I felt as though that was an even bigger bonus as you just get taken on this amazing journey to the rock. It will give you hope that good people exist in this world and when it truly fell apart and people did not trust others anymore this small town stood up and cared for the people who were stranded with them. It captures the fear the passengers must have had as the planes were suddenly told they had to land and they were stuck on them for well over 24 hours.
The cast are all truly wonderful together and the musical numbers have an amazing mixture of storytelling and unique routines. The music style is great and just works so well for creating the small town on that rock. Alice Fearn was utterly breathtaking in her many roles, but especially as the pilot trying to do the best thing for her passengers and the plane she is in charge of and given some truly emotional moments. I loved the chemistry between Mark Dugdale and Jonathan Andrew Hume creating such an amazing couple.
Something rather incredible to think about was how those days stranded changed peoples lives mainly for the better when they realised things about themselves and how to actually make choices to be happy. This was certainly something I found very hard-hitting, but in the best possible manner.
A truly incredible musical.