Come From Away Review

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until 20th July 2024

Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth


Winning four Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical in London, and the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical on Broadway, Come From Away arrives in Sheffield with this great reputation. Will it live up to expectations? It most certainly does…

Following a real-life story of how 7,000 air passengers from all over the world were grounded during the wake of 9/11 in Gander. The small town (population 9000) is on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. The scene is set by the locals welcoming the audience to their typical morning routines in their hometown on ‘The Rock’. Little do the residents know how much everything is about to change! Follow the true experiences of how they almost double their population, over five days due to The United States airspace closing and 38 passenger jets becoming stranded with them.

All the cast members play multiple characters, and we follow the people from the plane alongside the town folk. It all works seamlessly and it’s clear to the audience when the characters switch where you are in the story, which is super impressive. There is a real sense of the Gander locals being great people, caring for their new visitors to ensure they are welcomed and have the items and resources they need. Juxtaposed at the side of the tragedy that has just taken place of 9/11, it’s emotions central. There are some beautiful stories in the true events that take place including a developing marriage of two people; Nick played by Daniel Crowder and Diane played by Kirsty Hoiles. They met during the five days in the town, returning there to get married at a later date. What a love story!

The cast are all so skilled, mature in their experience and crisp. There isn’t a moment on stage that you see their character become flimsy. All the voices on stage are strong and beautiful to listen to, particularly skilled vocally is Sara Poyzer playing Beverley, Anette and others. She has some wonderful solos. There are some fab comedic moments and the audience chuckle along regularly, especially to Jamal Zulfiqar, playing Kevin J, Ali and others, he has a great way of delivering his lines comically.

The set is really quite endearing, being just lined with what look like realistic tall trees on each side of the stage, you really get a feel for the sleek simplicity that is Canada. The lighting is used perfectly and without it, the audience would struggle to work out where you are scene-wise as there isn’t really much in the way of scene changes on stage with props, it is manipulated by the lighting, which is really quite a talent.

The show is wholesome and charming and really different to your typical musical. The stories are mainly told through the lyrics in the music and there’s a reserved and contained feeling to the production. There is no wonder it is such a hit. A must see for any theatre fan!