Once, headed to Australia, wins two Olivier Awards

With all the international theatre talk of late eclipsed by the Tony Award nominations, it’s important to not forget the West End’s own Awards, the Oliviers. Australia has hosted a lot of past Olivier Award winning shows in our time, and one of our most anticipated shows – Once the Musical, set to play Melbourne later this year, was just recognised.

During the ceremony on April 13, Once received the award for Best Actress in a Musical (Zrinka Cvitesic) and, excitingly, the award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

Photo:  Frank Okenfels
Photo: Frank Okenfels

Once is a stage adaptation of the 2006 movie (remember “Falling Slowly”?), a gentle indie darling about love and humanity, a Guy and a Girl, has a book by Enda Walsh, with music by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Set in an Irish pub, each actor doubles as a musician bringing the soaring score to life.

On a Dublin street, an immigrant flower seller is drawn to the music of a busker. A casual chat leads to another meeting and they begin to write songs together. Before long, the guy and the girl are sharing their lives through music: the joys and heartbreaks, the loves they had, the loves they lost.

In 2012, Once won an incredible eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Orchestrations.

Once can be seen at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne for a strictly limited season from 1 October – 9 November. A co-production from John Frost and MTC, casting has yet to be announced, but this is a winner of a production with the awards to back it up. For tickets and more information, visit mtc.com.au.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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