London Theatre Review: Oh, Come From Away, please don’t drift too far!
| By Kay Johal
On the surface, Come From Away, currently in situ at London's Phoenix Theatre, doesn't seem like a show that you would want to indulge in if you are having a bad day. How wrong was I?!
This is the perfect show if you are feeling a lack of abundance. 9/11 — the day the world stood still — is something that those of us of an age to remember will never forget, and those who weren't around at the time will hopefully never witness such atrocities again.
A review of Come From Away at the West End's Pheonix Theatre
At the time that the planes hit the Twin Towers, there was plenty more air traffic being grounded. Our plane in Come From Away is landed in Newfoundland, and the musical tells the story of the utter and abject fear from not knowing what's going on; stumbling off the plane in utter shock, mouths falling open as the news hits home, not being able to grab your toothbrush or tampon out of the luggage that has been held...
It takes us to a huge sense of unease and explores the breaking down of barriers and the very important belief in the kindness of strangers. More importantly, it shows how the supermarkets were cleaned out and nobody charged a dime, how schools were overtaken and quickly became homes for a while and how the ice hockey pitch became a fridge.
It is an interesting concept – how folk deal with each other in a crisis: the gay couple who are fearful of how their relationship will be judged in a small town, the Muslim man who feels the sheer hostility even when offering to help prepare the food, people speaking in all different dialects, the terror that they felt, the sheer lack of capacity to understand what was going on all around them.
Rachel Tucker gives a sterling performance (of multiple characters) and her singing, enunciation and diction is, as ever, on point. A standout for me was Jenna Boyd (Beulah), empathetic and sympathetic in equal doses, and David Thaxton (Kevin T & Others), who showed off his range succinctly. I must, however, also give a very firm nod to Jonathan Andrew Hume (Ali & Others). As Ali, he showed an integrity that came from the very soul.
Come From Away The Musical shows the sheer resilience of humankind. The cast were acting with sincerity and a very real honesty that allowed time to be its own master. It made me feel a sense of gratitude that I will endeavour to hold onto. This is a show that will resonate, and so it should.
Come From Away Phoenix Theatre tickets available from £18!
The smash-hit Canadian-American musical Come From Away is a thought-provoking production that will shake you to your core and bring you hope for humankind. Though the topic may be heavy, the uplifting score and catchy musical numbers will bring a smile to your face. Don't miss the heartwarming West End production of Come From Away, now extended until 23 May 2020.