Once
Don't miss Ronan Keating's critically acclaimed West End debut in Once, the multi award-winning musical that will capture your heart like no other.

This heart-warming, hilarious and bittersweet love story celebrates the power of music and is performed live on stage by an extraordinary cast of actor-musicians, now including Ronan Keating is the lead role of Guy.

Once dazzles with invention, wit and unforgettable songs. Winner of two 2014 Olivier Awards, eight Tony® Awards and a Grammy® Award this is the show everyone-s falling for. Only until 21 March 2015.

Based on the much-loved Oscar-winning film, Once is an extraordinary, original and irresistibly joyous celebration of love, friendship and music.

When an Irish busker and a young Czech mother meet through a shared love of music, their songwriting sparks a deep connection and a tender, longing romance that neither of them could have expected. Winner of 8 Tony Awards in 2012, including Best New Musical, this unique stage adaptation takes you right to the heart of the action in a rapturous production that dazzles with invention.

An old-fashioned love story that dares to be different, Once is brought to life by a supremely talented cast of actor-musicians who unleash all the giddy exhilaration of an Irish ceilidh live on stage. Featuring all of the magical songs from the original film, including the Oscar-winning "Falling Slowly", this is an achingly beautiful, thrillingly inspirational show that strikes a truly unforgettable chord. How often does a musical like this come around...
"Once is different from most other musicals: quiet, wistful, tender. It has a modesty that's at odds with the West End's customary excess. Arriving in London after Tony-winning triumph on Broadway, it's here lent a stirring rawness by leads Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitesic. Even before the start there's an effort to seduce us. The stage is a Dublin bar with mirrored walls, and the audience can grab a drink and mingle with the cast (performing what feels like an off-the-cuff ceilidh). The songs, by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, are heartfelt. The keynotes are melancholy and introspection. I heard a couple of audience members draw parallels with James Blunt, but Damien Rice would be nearer the mark. Although some of the numbers are unremarkable, several are gorgeous. The supporting cast doubles up as the band and is excellent, with even the smallest roles well defined - particular credit goes to Jez Unwin and Jos Slovick. Cvitesic is eager, almost forceful, yet shows us the wrenching effects of being torn between two destinies. Bennett isn't especially charismatic, but sings with a striking mix of passion and vulnerability. Their intimacy feels completely authentic. The result is a slow burner. Once doesn't have big stars or a strong plot... But it has a delicate soulfulness and a truthful charm." Henry Hitchings, London Evening Standard ★★★★

"I rather liked the film with its haunting folk-inspired music and even bought the soundtrack but I couldn't see how such an understated piece could translate to a blockbusting musical. Actually blockbusting doesn't seem the right word for this type of rather quirky, sensitive fare. Enda Walsh, a playwright known for dark, twisted subject matter rather than emotive love stories, has adapted it for the stage by keeping faithful to the spirit of the original. He has subsequently created something that is far from the glossy pizzazz of traditional Broadway fare. However it certainly possesses the melting (and not completely happy) heart of the movie as well as the rawness of the music which proves a seductive combination. There may be no big-name stars but there is a winning charm to having the entire cast both singing and playing instruments that include guitar, violin, banjo, mandolin, piano and accordion. Once ultimately proves a gentle, touching kind of musical and it is easy to be won over." Julie Carpenter, The Express ★★★★

"There's a mock-up of a Dublin bar on the stage of the Phoenix Theatre (all foxed mirrors and nicotine-stained walls) and in the build-up to the show and during the interval, punters are invited to mosey on down and have a jar (or rather a plastic glass with a baby-proof non-spill lid) of some Irish tipple, while the cast perform a vigorous inyer-face hootenany - all swirling fiddles, and chthonic stamping that makes the sisters' efforts in Dancing at Lughnasa look to be a tiny bit the dansant by comparison. With minimal props and in what feels like a cross between a concert and drama, John Tiffany's charmingly funny and affecting production comes with shades of John Doyle (the director in whose Sondheim productions actors double as instrumentalists). This company's wonderful instrumental playing, comic characterisations and supple stylised movement offsets the shortcomings in the over-protracted love story and make it well worth giving Once the once-over." Paul Taylor, The Independent ★★★★
ONCE TO END WEST END RUN IN MARCH (9 OCTOBER 2014)

Ronan Keating and Jill Winternitz as Guy and Girl will lead the cast in Once The Musical at the Phoenix Theatre until 21 March 2015 when the production will complete its West End run prior to a European tour.

The West End production of Once opened in April 2013 and went on to win the 2014 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. The critically acclaimed Australian production of Once opened at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne earlier this week. The Broadway production, winner of 8 Tony awards including Best Musical, will play at the Bernard B Jacobs Theatre until 4 January 2015 where it will have run for three successful years. The US tour, now in its second year, continues and later this year will make a visit to Japan. A Toronto production will open in February next year and the first non-English language production will open in Seoul, South Korea in December 2015. Also in development are productions in Sweden, Brazil, Holland, Greece, The Czech Republic, Thailand, Ireland, along with a Japanese language production.

Ronan Keating joins the internationally award-winning musical from 17 November.



RONAN KEATING JOINS ONCE (6 JUNE 2014)

Ronan Keating is to join the West End cast of Olivier award-winning musical Once from this November.

Ronan said: "I was truly bowled over when I first saw Once. The music and storyline are so incredibly moving and combined with John Tiffany's direction, I believe it''s a modern-day masterpiece. It's unlike anything else I've ever seen. When I was asked about playing the lead male (who is a busker in Dublin) I was completely overwhelmed because I knew it would be perfect - this was my home town, my people, and the place where I began my own music career. But as exciting as that is, it's scary too. I've never performed on the West End and this is a huge challenge and commitment. I'm really looking forward to returning to London later this year and completely sinking my teeth into the role. I think there's going to be lots to learn and lots to gain from this experience and I just want to be the absolute best that I can be."

Irish recording artist, singer-songwriter and musician Ronan Keating launched his career as a member of Boyzone in 1993 and has subsequently enjoyed a hugely successful career as a solo recording artist. With Boyzone, Keating has sold over 25 million records worldwide and 20 million as a solo artist. Before joining the cast of Once, Keating will return to Australia for a fourth year as a judge on The X-Factor.

Once is at the Phoenix Theatre, and is currently booking to 4 July 2015.



NEW CAST FOR ONCE (13 MAY 2014)

David Hunter and Jill Winternitz have been announced as Olivier Award-winning musical Once's new Guy and Girl. The pair will take over the roles currently played by Arthur Darvill and Zrinka Cvitesic from this week.

David reached the semi-finals of ITV's Superstar and was watched by millions in Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for a leading man to play the title role of Jesus Christ Superstar. His recent stage credits include the National Theatre production of One Man, Two Guvnors. Jill moved from California to study at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia, before training at RADA in London. She recently made her West End debut as Baby in Dirty Dancing at the Piccadilly Theatre.

Once was recently awarded the first ever Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. It is currently booking at the Phoenix Theatre until 4 July 2015.



ONCE EXTENDS TO 2015 (28 JANUARY 2014)

The award-winning musical Once is now booking further in advance than any West End show, as the booking period has been extended to July 2015.

The show opened last March to mostly enthusiastic response from the critics. Henry Hitchings described a "quiet, wistful, tender" musical possessing "a modesty that's at odds with the West End's customary excess" in the London Evening Standard, concluding that it had "a delicate soulfulness and a truthful charm." In The Guardian Michael Billington admitted that the show "...wins you over with its simplicity, charm and air of sweet melancholy."

Once The Musical continues at the Phoenix Theatre and is now booking to 4 July 2015.













Information
Type of production: Musical

Opened: 16 March 2013

Booking until: 21 March 2015

Running time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Prices: £25.50 - £162.00

Author / playwright: Enda Walsh

Director: John Tiffany

Music by: Glen Hansard

> LATEST NEWS ONCE TO END WEST END RUN IN MARCH (9 OCTOBER 2014)