Guest Blog: Come From Away Preview
Actress Lucy Monaghan attended a preview of 'Come From Away' at the Phoenix Theatre ahead of the official London opening of the Broadway transfer.
The highly anticipated Broadway smash-hit 'Come From Away' has finally landed here in London, and, as expected, was totally worth the wait. The true story centres around a town in Newfoundland called Gander, where thirty-eight planes had been diverted in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. As the US air space was closed, the town of Gander doubled in population, and the show focuses on how the wonderful 'Newfoundlanders' took their visitors under their wing and changed their lives forever.
The beautiful book and score is written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and yet may be a surprise to anyone who hasn't listened to the cast recording yet. The memories attached to 9/11 could make you believe this show would be 100 minutes of sad stories and bleakness. If course, there were moments of terrible sadness and grief, especially the haunting song 'I Am Here', performed with heart-breaking truth by Cat Simmons, as she worries for the life of her Firefighter son back in New York. However, what struck me was the incredible wit and humour within the writing. Sankoff and Hein, much like the people of Newfoundland, have taken a moment tragic and terrifying, and found the humanity within it.
A stand out performance was from the incomparable Rachel Tucker as Beverley Bass, the first ever female captain of an American Airlines flight, as she copes with the tragic events without ever letting her passion for flying dim. Tucker's voice is a force to be reckoned with as she delivers the number 'Me And The Sky' with such power, passion and integrity. Tucker has been a solid theatre-kid favourite since her days as Elphaba in Wicked, yet her performance in Come From Away proves that she is definitely not just a one-trick pony.
Living and working in a busy and crowded place like London can be rather daunting at times, especially with the constant flow of awful and scary news direct to our televisions or twitter timelines. Leaving the show tonight and pinning on my 'I'm An Islander' badge, I felt a little safer knowing that for one bad person there may be, there's a whole town of kind and beautiful people ready to prove that humankind is inherently good.
Lucy Monaghan is a London based actress who studied Musical Theatre at Bodens Performing Arts school and performs with the British Theatre Academy.
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