Come From Away – Phoenix Theatre

I finally got around to seeing Come From Away this week. What a West End gem. No wonder it won four Olivier Awards, including best new musical.

The subject matter doesn’t seem immediately obvious for a musical. It’s the true story of how the residents of the remote Newfoundland town of Gander welcomed thousands of plane passengers who had been diverted there after 9/11.

On stage it works like a dream. If you’ve got any emotional buttons, expect them to be pushed pretty hard. This joyous 100-minute journey shows how human beings can be decent to each other even at the very worst of times.

The simple, non-flashy staging allows the cast, the songs and the musicianship to sparkle. The standout performances for me were Rachel Tucker as plane pilot Beverley and Clive Carter as Claude the town mayor.

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Rachel Tucker as pilot Beverley (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

I didn’t want this show to end (even though I was having to dry my eyes every few seconds) and seeing such a spontaneous and enthusiastic standing ovation, I suspect I wasn’t the only one.

Come From Away has been extended at the Phoenix Theatre until February 2020.