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Once - Phoenix Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN SPRING 2013, John Tiffany’s Tony Award-winning production of Once comes to the West End – to the Phoenix Theatre where it opens on April 9, following previews from March 16.

Based on the Oscar-winning film written and directed by John Carney, Once is a 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.

Once has a book by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh and Academy Award-winning music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

The production has scenic and costume designs by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Clive Goodwin, musical supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe and movement by Steven Hoggett. Casting will be announced shortly.

Earlier this year, Once won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. The production was also named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critic Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards.

The Broadway production of Once continues at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, where it opened in March this year. In the summer of 2013, Once will embark on a US national tour launched by The Road Company.

The 2007 Academy Award-winning film starred Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who also composed the original music and lyrics. An independent Irish film, it was shot in 17 days and was made for $150,000. It went on to gross $20m worldwide becoming a critically acclaimed international hit. The soundtrack was nominated for two Grammy Awards.

Enda Walsh is an Irish playwright living in London. He is the winner of numerous international awards and his work has been translated and produced worldwide. His plays include Misterman, Penelope, The New Electrical Ballroom, The Walworth Farce, Chatroom, The Small Things, Bedbound and Disco Pigs.

On film, his work includes the BAFTA nominated Hunger, winner of the Camera d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. For his work on Once, he received a Tony and Outer Critic Circle Award.

Not only has John Tiffany won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Awards for his work on Once but also the Olivier and Critics’ Circle Best Director Awards for his production of Black Watch. His international directing credits include The Missing, Peter Pan, The House of Bernarda Alba, Hunter, Be Near Me, Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us, The Bacchae, Gagarin Way, Abandonment, Perfect Days and Passing Places. Tiffany is Associate director of the National Theatre of Scotland.

As well as Once, Glen Hansard’s film work includes The Commitments. His albums include Strict Joy, the Academy Award-winning soundtrack of Once, The Swell Season, The Cost, Burn the Maps, Set List: Live in Dublin, For the Birds, Dance the Devil, Fitzcarraldo and Another Love Song.

Markéta Irglová’s albums include The Swell Season, the Academy Award-winning soundtrack of Once, Strict Joy and Anar.

Once will be produced in the West End by Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf and Michael Rose Limited in association with New York Theatre Workshop.

Once is currently booking at the Phoenix Theatre until November 30, 2013.

Prior to its West End opening, Once will run at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin from February 22 to March 9, 2013.