Review: Come From Away (Pheonix Theatre)

Reviewed by Sophie Ross
March 11th 2020
Reviewer Rating: ★★★★★

Welcome to the Rock! Come From Away tells the story of the days surrounding 9/11 in a small place in Canada called Newfoundland. It tells the story of  humanity, a community coming together in times of darkness and the importance of being kind.  Based on true life stories by real-life people, it’s a story that so importantly needs to be told, today more than ever. Heading into it’s second year in the West End with a semi-brand new cast, it really is a must see show for all!

What is really magical about this show is that it really is an ensemble piece. Everyone gets their chance to shine and the energy that comes from the stage because of that, is truly exciting to watch.  The company has recently had the addition of ten new members following the departure of some of the original cast and I feel this has given the show a whole new vibrance about it and watch the two groups of people merge to create something special.

It’s always interesting to see how somebody will take on a role that someone has played before and put their own spin on it. Alice Fearn who plays Capt. Beverley Bass/Annette has done just that. Taking over the role from fellow Wicked alumni Rachel Tucker, Fearn has completely made her interpretation of the characters her own. With her seamless vocals, impressive belting and great acting choices, she plays both women with strength and reassurance allowing the audience to go on a real journey with them both. You see a complete different side to the roles she plays and therefore you learn more about these real-life people.  Mark Dugdale takes over the roles of Kevin T/Garth after being a super standby in the original company. He has power in his voice, a charm to his acting and really stands out amongst the crowd.  Especially when he opens “Prayer” which is one of the stand-out moments in the show. Alasdair Harvey and Kate Graham make for a pair as Nick and Dianne. They have charm, chemistry, are very likeable and their duet “Stop The World” is such a beautiful moment in the show. James Doherty plays Claude a character that embraces the tragedy but keeps calm and collective throughout and Doherty plays him with warmth and authority. And finally Tarin Callender plays Bob with such great comedic timing /charm that you can’t help but love him. It’s genuinely nice to see him in a role that’s different from anything I’ve seen him do before.

7-The-West-End-company-in-Come-From-Away-at-the-Phoenix-Theatre-2020-Credit-Craig-Sugden (1)
Alice Fearn as Beverley Bass © Craig Sugden

Joining the new cast are original company members Jenna Boyd as Beulah, Mary Doherty as Bonnie, Jonathan Hume as Kevin J/Ali, Harry Morrison as Oz, Emma Salvo as Janice, and Cat Simmons as Hannah, plus a team of super standby’s both old and new. All of which are absolutely brilliant in what they do, making this cast one of the strongest in the West End.

5-The-West-End-company-in-Come-From-Away-at-the-Phoenix-Theatre-2020-Credit-Craig-Sugden (1)
© Craig Sugden

Come From Away really is a show that feeds you the good in humanity and allows you to learn about Gander, a small town that doubled it’s popularity over night and welcomed in the world during an uncertain time. The choreography (by Kelly Devine) is slick and perfectly fits into the piece. The music is absolutely stunning with each song flowing into one another and making complete sense to the story they are telling. The staging is simple but effective and seeing the band on stage throughout being a real part of the show, is always lovely to see.  The creative teams have really nailed it on the head with this piece and the West End is lucky to be able to witness it!

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This story still hits you in the feels just as much today, year’s after it’s original creation and will continue to do so for years to come. Everyone needs to be a little more Newfoundland! #WeAllComeFromAway

Get your tickets to Come From Away here: https://comefromawaylondon.co.uk/tickets/

 

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