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Review: Queen's Theatre's romantic musical Once is not your average love story

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:18 08 October 2018

L-R: Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia, who feature in Once, the musical at the Queen's Theatre. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

L-R: Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia, who feature in Once, the musical at the Queen's Theatre. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

www.mikekwasniak.co.uk

The classic story of boy meets girl is retold in a spellbinding musical full of emotion and laughter at the Queen's Theatre.

The cast of Once, a romantic musical coming to the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.The cast of Once, a romantic musical coming to the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

This production of Once had me hooked from the start.

Before the musical began the cast entertained arriving guests with some Irish folk music, setting the scene for the play, which is set in Dublin.

The lively performance then transitioned into a very different atmosphere with Daniel Healey’s powerful rendition of Leave, which is a song that really pulls you into the dark place the main character is in after a bad breakup.

This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the play, as each song was filled with so much emotion that they revealed almost as much about the characters and their stories as the dialogue did.

L-R: Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia, who feature in Once, the musical at the Queen's Theatre. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.L-R: Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia, who feature in Once, the musical at the Queen's Theatre. Picture: Mike Kwasniak.

Once tells the story of an Irish street musician known as Guy, played by Daniel Healey, and a Czech woman known as the Girl, played by Emma Lucia, who are drawn together by their shared love of music.

The musical, co-produced with the New Wolsey Theatre, is based on the 2007 film of the same name, written and directed by John Carney.

A story of two people falling in love over a matter of days might have been a hard sell, if it wasn’t for the charming personalities of the lead actors and the great ensemble of actors and musicians who supported them.

It quickly becomes clear that this is not just a story about a relationship between two people, but it’s also about their relationship to music and the city they live in.

Throughout the musical Dublin is described as a city that has had its heart broken a million times, but also as a city that has spawned many famous musicians and writers - making it the perfect setting for a story that champions the power of the arts and music.

Once will have you wanting to keep hearing the songs long after the curtain call.

The musical is playing at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane from Monday, October 8 to Saturday, October 20.

For tickets visit queens-theatre.co.uk.

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