Reviewed; Come From Away

Broadening my theatrical palate this week, I went to see a show that was previously unfamiliar to me; Come From Away. Intrigued by the premise I did a little research before going, and found myself enthralled in interviews about how this show came about and the basis for its creation. Having been so moved by the stories I read before even entering the theatre I braced myself for what I expected to be a profound experience.

If like me you are unfamiliar with Come From Away; this show shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives with open hearts.

I was genuinely moved by this beautiful heart-warming story, born out of tragedy, it elevates your faith in people. You watch on as a community opens its arms to strangers, inviting them into their homes, sharing their food and clothes, helping in any, and every, way they can.

The story is of course twinged with sadness as the news of the 9/11 tragedy unfolds throughout the show. I was brought to tears at times as you watch people try to contact loved ones, deal with their fears and emotions, and see the ripple effect it had on the world.

It highlights a collective of people’s stories, all from different backgrounds, countries, ethnicities and religions trying to find a way to come together and gain an understanding and compassion for each other. You witness the different personalities struggle as they try to navigate this unprecedented situation, and see the lasting impact it has on their lives. But amongst the sadness you have light, and this is what the show ultimately conveys.

Every cast member deserved the standing ovation they received. The energy level on the stage was insane, you watch on as they fluidly move around one another, seamlessly slipping into different roles as they tell the story of this island. Their voices rang out to the incredible soundtrack, full of dynamic spirit lifting numbers created for this production. Then peppered throughout you have the added value of humour to bring a light-hearted feel to the show that had the whole audience laughing as the cast perfectly nailed their comedy timing.

The music was electric and the band deserve their own special shout out. Their skill complimented the beautiful voices of the cast, creating some truly epic moments. There were moments when they joined the performers onstage to become part of the ensemble, playing their instruments to create a real party atmosphere that had me wanting to get up and do a little jig myself!

This story is one of hope and inspiration. What makes it so special is the fact that it is based on a true story, of real people, and personal experiences. It has left a lasting impression, and I think that if we all can take a little something away from it and apply it to our lives we could all become an even better version of ourselves! It is a beautiful tribute to an endearing story and I encourage you to book your ticket! It is playing at the Mayflower Theatre until Saturday 20th April.

Words by Vicky Anscombe

Photos courtesy of Mayflower Theatre & Come From Away production

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