A turbulent romance shrouded by the warm and familiar feeling of an Irish pub can only make for a refreshing take on the traditional musical.
Three Legs Productions put on the show, providing two acts full to the brim with quirky humour and beautiful musical numbers.
However, you’d be a fool to mistake this as your traditional musical, with the cast doubling up as musicians and many playing more than one instrument.
In the absence of the usual orchestra, the stage was able to be extended and used further by the cast – in one case being utilised as a perfect spot for a heartbreaking solo, which created a more immersive experience.
As well as this, live music was performed pre-show and in the interval by musicians Mary Molloy and Susan Coyle, which audience members responded to gladly, welcoming the traditional Irish music as they enjoyed their drinks in their seats.
VIP ticket holders even got to appreciate it on stage.
Directed by David Dawson with Sarah Holland as assistant director, the musical was honest and pragmatic throughout but almost despairing in its ending.
Lorcan O’Mahony and Gráinne Joughin, who portrayed the central roles of Guy and Girl, were forces to be reckoned with.
Both of their voices being very powerful in their own right, it’s unlikely they would have needed microphones to reach the back of the theatre.
The story gave the pair the chance to portray a very authentic connection, their chemistry shining through every lyric and motion.
O’Mahony portrayed the bashful nature of Guy very well, making way for many amusing moments.
The rest of the ensemble did a wonderful job of switching up between instruments and scenes, often creating an electrifying ambience with their marvellous unified voices.
Moving around the props is often a difficult task on stage but the cast of ‘Once’ made it seem very simple as they incorporated the movements into the choreography and made the transitions feel almost seamless.
Notable musical numbers included the award-winning ‘Falling Slowly’, performed with elegance by the love-stricken main characters, as well as ‘If You Want Me’, ‘When Your Mind’s Made Up’ and the opening song ‘Leave’.
Fresh in its delivery, this musical succeeded in its immersion, making audience members feel at home in the grand Gaiety Theatre.