It’s not the news many musical theatre fans across Australia had hoped for, but at least it’s good news.
The multi-award winning stage musical ONCE has extended its run at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre by one week to accommodate a huge demand for tickets. Originally set to close on February 1, the critically acclaimed musical will now bring down the curtain on February 8 and, much to the disappointment of Australian theatre goers in other states, will not be touring to other cities.
Tickets for all of the new performances will be on sale from 9am Thursday 15 January and today Producer John Frost has payed tribute to the quadruple threat performers who have brought the show to life, 8 times a week, since it opened on 4 October 2014.
“ONCE is the little show that roared! Never in all my years in the business, have I seen a brand new musical embraced so warmly by the Australian public”, said Frost in a statement.
“It’s a testament to the genuine, heartfelt nature of this production and to the extraordinarily talented cast of performers who not only act onstage, but sing, dance and play music”.
Unfortunately, although rumours did circulate that the show might tour to Sydney in 2015, the “little show that roared” did not make it onto the Australian music theatre touring schedule, with producers citing “theatre availability” as constraint.
Making its Broadway debut in January 2012 and winning 8 Tony Awards in 2013, ONCE is one of the few new Broadway musicals to land an Australian season so soon after its debut. Based on the Irish film of the same name (which became a surprise international hit in 2006 and won an Oscar for Best Song – ‘Falling Slowly’), the musical follows the tender romance of a struggling Irish busker and the beautiful Czech immigrant who takes a keen interest in his music.
It’s an immersive show from the outset, with audience invited on stage pre-show for a Guinness as the cast strikes up a song, setting the scene for a late-night lock in at a traditional Irish pub. An achingly beautiful, joyously uplifting story about love, life and friendship then unfolds, speaking to the power of music to connect us all.
The Australian production of ONCE, starring Tom Parsons and Madeleine Jones, is the last that will be led by British Director John Tiffany and Music Supervisor Martin Lowe, part of the original New York creative team. Non-English speaking productions are now in development for Sweden, Brazil, Holland, Greece, The Czech Republic, Thailand, Ireland and Japan and a South Korean production is already running in Seoul.
The Australian cast also includes Anton Berezin, Andrew Broadbent, Ben Brown, Gerard Carroll, Colin Dean, Margi de Ferranti, Matthew Hamilton, Lisa Hanley, Brent Hill, Shanae Icovski, Stefanie Jones, Keegan Joyce, Amy Lehpamer, Tara Lyon, Summer Moore, Lachlan Neate, Jane Patterson, Greg Stone, Susan-ann Walker and Paul Watson.