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Once More


After melting hearts on Broadway, Tony Award-winning musical Once heads to the West End this month. Hayley Leaver caught up with its stars Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić to discuss its success


English acting role. “Every human being understands both of them. “T e fi rst thing our director, John Tiff any, told us was how he wanted us to create our own show though. It wasn’t about repeating or copying the Broadway production, he wanted us to go on our own journey with the piece.”


Her co-star actor singer songwriter


Declan Bennett adds: “T is is theatre how they used to do it. With very little smoke and mirrors. And it’s so subtle and quiet in a very unexpected way that it casually reels you in artery by artery. And Glen and Markéta’s music is so delicate and full of smart emotion but in a very inclusive way. It’s very easy to get swept up in Once. You just have to have ears, eyes and a pulse.” Based on the 2007 Irish fi lm written and directed by John Carney, Once tells the story of a Dublin busker and a young


W


ith the musical adaptation written by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh


and music and lyrics by the Academy Award- winning duo Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, it is perhaps not surprising that Once received the most awards nominations in last year’s theatre season. What’s more, it collected 21 out of those 35 nominations, including eight Tony Awards for Best New Musical and Best Director among others. With this in mind, we wanted to know if its West End transfer can expect similar success. “I believe Once’s success comes from the


story itself and the story speaks the two most powerful languages: the language of love and the language of music,” says Zrinka Cvitešić, who plays its female lead in her fi rst


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Czech mother who develop a deep and tender connection through their shared love of music and songwriting. “We live in such an advanced time when


you kind of feel like there is little left for a human being to create, achieve and make,” says Cvitešić. “Everything became big, but this play reminds us of the basic things in life: love, fear, loneliness, smiling, hugging and caring. T is is what I think we need to be reminded of from time to time. In our desire for a better life, it is powerful when a piece comes along that reminds us what our true values in life are. T is is why I believe this play moves people, because we are all searching for the same thing really - to be loved and to be understood.” Bennett agrees: “It’s a story that all of us can


connect to in one way or another. John Tiff any and Enda Walsh have done an incredible job


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