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Come From Away

Come From Away

Book, music and Lyrics by David Hein and Irene Sankoff

Junkyard Dog Productions

Director Christopher Ashley

Choreographer Kelly Devine

Capitol Theatre

Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP

Come from away theatre review

In the days following the disasters of September 11, 2001, Operation Yellow Ribbon was launched by Canada. It diverted 255 aircraft from the restricted American airspace to 17 Canadian airports.

Of the 255 flights, 38 carrying almost 7,000 passengers destined for the U.S.A. ended up at the airport in the small town of Gander in Newfoundland. Once you’ve heard about that, what’s the obvious next step? Turn it into a musical.

The winner of a multitude of theatrical and musical awards in New York and London, Come From Away has at last arrived in Sydney and is playing at the Capitol Theatre.

It’s the amalgamated tale of twelve people who find themselves together in an unfamiliar location, facing an uncertain short-term future and a global situation that offers no guarantee of security. Pressure affects different people in a variety of ways. Some will connect with others to various degrees of intimacy, some will want to be alone, some will rebel and some will panic.

Apparently, the stories come from actual connections that occurred across a number of those situations.

come from away theatre review

There are no coincidences in life, and we form relationships for various reasons. It might be to learn a life lesson, it might be to form a life-long relationship, develop a business connection, or it might provide you with a momentary flash of awareness. All relationships have an expiry date, whether it be a day, year, moment, a lifetime or several lifetimes. The relationships and connections that the characters form reflect this.

Ten years later, the passengers and pilot return to Gander to celebrate the development of those relationships.

The ensemble cast of Zoe Gertz, Sharriese Hamilton, Douglas Hansell, Kolby Kindle, Phillip Lowe, Simon Maiden, Sarah Morrison, Joseph Naim, Emma Powell, Katrina Retallick, Kellie Rode and Gene Weygandt are all talented and enthusiastic triple threats who exude endless energy. Zoe Gertz also plays the pivotal character of the pilot, Beverley, who is based on the real pilot, Captain Beverley Bass, who has now seen more than 150 performances globally.

Theatre reviews sydney

Come From Away is an extravagant production that has eight standby performers, a massive creative team and a lively ten-piece band. The fifteen musical numbers are strongly affected by Eastern Canada’s Irish influence.

You might not walk out of the Capitol Theatre humming any of the songs that you just heard, but you will have experienced the warm reassurance that kindness and hospitality still exists in this often confusing world and that strong, lasting relationships can be formed with strangers. Come From Away is an entertaining, feel-good night out.

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