The Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of the low-budget Irish film sensation Once has finally opened up on the West End to a brilliant reception. There were a number of critics and celebrities alike in attendance for the first night on Tuesday (April 9th).
Unusually for a West End production there was no orchestra, with the entire score provided by the on-stage cast who are all multi-instrumentalists.
Such was the response to the opening night, the cast were called back for four rousing encores.
The story follows an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant who are drawn together by their shared love of music and over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful romance that is heightened by the emotion created in the songs they write together.
This opening on the West End follows on from its debut on Broadway in the US in February last year and there it was equally well received. Indeed, it achieved 11 Tony Award nominations – winning eight of them, including Best New Musical and Best Actor.
In his review for The Guardian Michael Billington said the production "wins you over with its simplicity, charm and air of sweet melancholy", while the Evening Standard praised the show's "delicate soulfulness and truthful charm".
Director John Tiffany told BBC News: "It was amazing, my dad and mum were in the audience and the show is a love letter to them in a lot of ways, they taught me how to love music."
The show will be running at the Phoenix Theatre until 30th November 2013, though don't be surprised to see that run extended if its opening night is anything to go by.
People staying in luxury suites in London will find that the Phoenix Theatre is ideally placed to get to from virtually anywhere in the city. This is because it is within close proximity to a number of Tube stops such as Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road.