Romantic musical about second chances and redemption comes to Queen's Theatre
PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 28 September 2018
A West End actor starring in a romantic musical coming to Hornchurch said playing the lead role of an Irish singer songwriter is "the most connected to any character" he has ever been.
Once, the story of a Dublin street musician and a funny Czech woman, drawn together by their shared love of music is coming the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane.
West End Once actor Daniel Healy plays the lead role of Guy.
He told the Recorder: “It’s about an Irish singer songwriter that sort of loses faith in his life and he’s at his lowest point.
“He’s all alone and he has given up on his music, when this girl comes into his life.
“It’s a story about second chances, redemption and not giving up your dreams.”
Daniel is originally from Glasgow and feels that he can relate to some aspects of his character’s life.
“I feel a real connection to [Ireland] which has a similar folk music scene to the one in Scotland and I’ve played folk songs in a band before,” he said.
“I’ve been a singer songwriter my whole life. It’s the most connected to any character I’ve ever been.
“Apart from the accent I don’t really have to try to find it – especially the emotional stuff.
“It’s a great role for me, it’s very cathartic.”
The musical is set in Ireland, however Daniel explained that the setting doesn’t have a massive impact on the story.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re Scottish, Irish or Welsh,” he said.
“We’ve had standing ovations from the show, people weeping.
“It’s just a really beautiful love story and it’s funny as well.”
The musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name by John Carney.
Like the film, music and lyrics are by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, and it features the Academy Award-winning song Falling Slowly.
Speaking about his favourite song in the musical Daniel said: “The music is amazing and there are loads of traditional Irish songs.
“Probably the most important song for me is a song called Leave, which is at the very beginning.
“I think there’s so much emotion in that song and if you get that song right at the start, then the rest of the play is a breeze.
“The play starts with a big Irish song and then it moves into a deep, dark piece.
“As an actor you really have to get into that place, where you’re able to show your guts on the stage.”
Daniel previously played the role of Eamon and was also the understudy for Ronan Keating and Arthur Darvill as Guy in the West End production.
“It’s great to get a second chance to play the lead, it’s really special.
“I’m very accepting of the many lessons that I’ve learned and I’m very grateful of everything that I have.
“Every day I look around at the talent of the cast and I feel very lucky.
“It makes you want to up your game.”
Daniel is joined by Rachel Dawson who plays the ex-girlfriend and Kate Robson-Stuart as Reza.
Speaking about working with his co-star, he said: “She’s an amazing woman with an incredible talent that is beyond her years.
“If I’m ever feeling nervous I just look over at her and she’s got it.”
He added that the audience is another factor that inspires him
“I just look out every night and you see people that are overwhelmed, but it’s nothing to do with me. It’s just a lovely human story.
“It’s amazing that so many people can connect with it.”
Once is playing at the Queen’s Theatre from October 3 - 20 and is co-produced with the New Wosley Theatre Ipswich.
A sign language interpreted performance of Once will take place on Wednesday, October 17 at 7.30pm and a dementia friendly performance on Thursday, October 18 at 1.30pm.
To book tickets, call 01708 443333.