Fairfield Halls (venue)
11 January 2020 (released)
11 January 2020
From the moment you enter the theatre this production shines in confidence and musicality, as the audience is carried into the world of Irish folk music, which is at the root of this delightful Musical. The ensemble actor/musicians are brilliant, and play and sing with such joy that it all becomes totally absorbing.
This Musical, with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, based on the well loved film, is a touching and simple portrayal of a chance meeting between Guy and Girl where they become instantly attracted to each other through their love and need of music. Guy has lost himself after his girlfriend left him and moved to America. His growing affection for Girl helps him discover the true meaning of his songs.
It is difficult to believe that anyone could embody the character of Guy as well as Daniel Healy. As a musician/songwriter in his own right, he draws on all that knowledge to deliver a truly mesmerising performance. Showing vulnerability, angst and then real joy as he slowly rediscovers the heart of his music. It is worth the price of the ticket to see his performance alone.
However, that is not say that other performances aren't great too, relative newcomer Emma Lucia who plays Girl has all the quirkiness and a beautiful voice that is crystal clear, even whilst maintaining her Czech accent. Her scenes with Daniel are beautifully measured, most witty and delightfully touching.
There are other highlights such as Samuel Martin's comic rendition of 'Abandoned in Bandon', and the totally entrancing a capella reprise of 'Gold' where all the voices blend in such a way, that the audience was stunned into total silence (not a cough to be heard). The balancing of these voices was one of the evening's many perfect moments.
It is rare to find a new production of a Broadway and West End hit that measures up. This does so in spades. Excellent direction from Peter Rowe and clever choreography from Francesca Jaynes make the use of instruments and ensemble blend seamlessly into the musical numbers, without ever drawing too much focus during the tender moments.
If you want a show to kick off 2020, make you forget all the troubles and spend two hours absorbed in a delightful story, then this is that production. A thought provoking, life affirming gem!