It’s the story of humanity that saw a small island take in and embrace 7000 visitors at the height of the 9/11 chaos.
Based closely on interviews with residents of Newfoundland, Come From Away (which has today been extended until February 2020) is lighting up the West End with hope – to nightly standing ovations.
From the very opening, a large cast swiftly move through a journey of 100 minutes – taking you along for the ride.
There’s no interval, but unlike others, this suits the pacey feel of the show. An interval would be an unwelcome break in the urgency that has been expertly created by Director Christopher Ashley.
Cast members each play several characters. There are many notable performances, particuarly from the mayor of Gander (a sharp Clive Carter) and local news reporter on her first day (played convincingly and comically by Emma Salvo) through to inspiring female pilot (exceptional character and vocals from Rachel Tucker).
Great moments came from stranded passenger characters including two singletons who find love (Helen Hobson and Robert Hands), but also Kevin and Kevin who lose love (played by Jonathan Andrew Hume and David Shannon) plus many more.
Each has their own story cleverly intertwined to the overall plot as the characters integrate to the local society – showing how welcoming the townsfolk were on that fateful day.
Set design is simplistic – it’s the stories that draw the audience in. No special effects – just stagecraft – use of tables, chairs and a revolve contribute to the flow, with cast and band cleverly transitioning their places on and off stage.
The production touches sensitively on the wide range of issues that surrounded the tragic events of that day, whilst invoking such strong compassion in the audience that an instant standing ovation is the natural result.
An appreciative audience remain on their feet as the exceptional band take centre stage to end the show with a foot-tapping musical finale from this quality new score.
This show is worth every penny of the ticket price. Plan your trip to Newfoundland at the Phoenix Theatre. Click here to view tickets.