Guy. Girl. Da. Billy. Ŝvec. Andrej. Réza. Baruŝka. Ivanka. Eamon. Bank Manager. Emcee. Ex- Girlfriend. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing the musical Once, then these names should be familiar to you; they are to me having seen the show three times, and are incredibly special to me because these characters have been brought to life by an insanely talented group of ladies and gents. I write this in the wake of seeing the final matinee of the Original London Cast on the 8th, my 3rd visit to the show. Yet again, I was blown away. Blown away by the honesty and simplistic beauty of the story, and above all by the talent it has brought into my life. What I love most about the cast was from the minute they stepped onstage instruments in hand for the pre show ‘jam’, you could tell immediately that they were doing what they love, their smiles and sheer sense of joy and enthusiasm radiated off them in bucketloads from start to finish and plastered a grin on my face for the duration. The story is, to me, not just your average ‘Guy meets Girl’, it’s about hope, friendship and those moments that define us.
There were goosebumps: The first time I heard my first Guy Declan Bennett sing Leave (May 2013), the cast singing the Acappella Reprise of Gold (all 3 visits!!) and my ‘other’ Guy David Hunter’s Say It To Me Now this past weekend being the main culprits.
Tears: Declan’s Leave and Zrinka’s The Hill (2nd Visit, October 2013) Oh boy, the tears I shed. I had NO TISSUES, and don’t even get me started on every final Hello Zrinka said to the piano!
Laughs: Jez with your Abandon in Bandon, Aidan & Tim with Billy’s karate ‘skills’ Gabriel with your Adele Dazeem & Ryan with your thong during our muck up matinee, I’m looking at you 😉
But above all, there was always sheer joy. Declan once tweeted that you guys are a band, and I couldn’t agree more – the talent you all have on each of those instruments is ridiculous and something I can only dream of, and the dedication and camaraderie you all share as a West End company is truly inspirational.
I leave you with my sincere thanks to each and every one of you for not only three incredible shows, but also for your warmth and humour at Stage Door. To paraphrase Svec:
It’s been a RIDE 😀