DAY 2: Best Musical
Whilst Once has already achieved great acclaim in film and Broadway form, it was only this year that I got to experience it firsthand. And the word ‘experience’ just doesn’t do it justice. A playful and realistic love story between two slightly awkward individuals, each with complex pasts and a plethora of distractions, complemented by some of the smoothest choreography you will ever see. Replacing the orchestra is an ensemble cast who remain on-stage at all times. This is a musical with music at its heart, and the presence of characters playing music only serves to enhance some of the most beautiful and touching scenes of affection and devotion.
Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić have the perfect mix of chemistry and personality to create three-dimensional characters whom myself, and the rest of the audience undoubtedly, totally invest our own emotions, hopes and affections. Without wanting to spoil the ending, this musical is thoroughly unconventional, and has the additional accolade of being the only musical with which I’ve wept at, in public, twice