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Once celebrates St Patrick’s Day with new cast

Arthur Darvill and Zrinka Cvitesic at the Once Gala.
Arthur Darvill and Zrinka Cvitesic at the Once Gala.
Photo Credit Dan Wooller

Last night (17th March 2014) the six-time Olivier award nominated musical Once celebrated its first birthday in the West End, joining forces with the charity Oxfam specifically fundraising for their Mother Appeal. Also celebrating St Patrick’s Day, the production welcomed their new cast led by Arthur Darvill, who joins the London production having played the role on Broadway.  Darvill plays opposite Zrinka Cvitešić as Girl.

VIP guests were Laura Bailey, Michael Ball, Tim Bevan, Lydia Bright, Barbara Broccoli, Maryam D’Abo, Eliza Doolittle, Eric Fellner, Mark Forster, Amy Gadney, Goldie, Jane Horrocks, Hugh Hudson, Alfie Hudson Taylor, Mark Knopfler, Penny Lancaster, Lucy Mecklenburgh, Dame Jenni Murray, Jennifer Saunders, Rod Stewart and Michael G Wilson. Once director John Tiffany and designer Bob Crowley were also in attendance.

In January over 400,000 new tickets were released for sale, taking bookings at the Phoenix Theatre to 4 July 2015.  Directed by John Tiffany, Once opened at the Phoenix Theatre in April last year where it has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike.

Darvill and Cvitešić are joined by Fiona Bruce (Baruska), Jamie Cameron (Emcee) Mark Carlisle (Da), Matthew Ganley (Svec), Mathew Hamper (Andre), Daniel Healy (Eamon), Loren O’Dair (Reza), Miria Parvin (Ex-girlfriend), Tim Prottey-Jones (Billy), and Jez Unwin (Bank Manager).   Alternating the role of Girl’s young daughter Ivanka will be Juliana Cotton, Demi Lee, Gemma Loader and Ruby Payne.

Michael Ball at the Once Gala
Michael Ball at the Once Gala
Photo Credit Dan Wooller

Based on the much-loved Oscar-winning film, 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.

Actor musician Arthur Darvill has recently completed a run in the Broadway production of Once playing Guy.   In London his previous theatre roles include Our Boys at the Duchess Theatre, Soft Cops for Royal Shakespeare Company, Doctor Faustus at Shakespeare’s Globe, Been So Long for Young Vic and Swimming with Sharks at the Vaudeville Theatre.  As a television actor, Darvill played the Doctor’s companion Rory in Doctor Who for two years and more recently he played Reverend Paul Coates in ITV’s award-winning Broadchurch and The Duke of Buckingham in The White Queen for the BBC. As a composer Darvill’s work includes The Bacchae for English Touring Theatre, Been so Long for the Young Vic, The Front Line for the Globe and Artefacts and 50 Ways to Leave your Lover for The Bush Theatre.

Once has book by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh.  Based on the 2007 motion picture written and directed by John Carney, music and lyrics are by Academy Award® winning Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who, for Falling Slowly, won the Oscar for Best Original Song.  Scenic and costume designs are by Bob Crowley, with lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Clive Goodwin, musical supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe and movement by Steven Hoggett.  Once won the 2013 Grammy award for Best Musical Theatre album. The Martin Guitar Company is the proud sponsor of Once.

Tuesday 18th March 2014


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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