On 17 March 2014, Arthur Darvill, who has previously played the role in the Broadway production, will join the West End cast of Once to play the leading role of Guy. The eight-time Tony award-winning musical last month released over 400,000 new tickets 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.
To celebrate its first birthday in the West End, St Patrick’s Day and Darvill’s first performance, Once will join forces with the charity Oxfam for a Gala Night on 17 March 2014. Specifically fundraising for Oxfam’s Mother Appeal, the West End cast of Once will be joined by a VIP audience at the Phoenix Theatre. Oxfam’s Mother Appeal celebrates mums around the world and aims to help mothers worldwide lift themselves and their families out of poverty for good. The appeal, which runs until the end of March, hopes to raise over £10 million for Oxfam’s vital work. Tickets go on sale today for the Gala with prices from £30.00 - £200.00. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Oxfam’s Mother Appeal.
Lauren Laverne, a supporter of Oxfam’s Mother Appeal, said: “By helping mothers around the world create a better life for themselves, we can help create a better future for the next generation as well as taking the opportunity to celebrate the love and hard work of the mums in our lives (even if that means you!). It’s great that the West End production of Once and Oxfam are teaming up to raise vital funds for the Mother Appeal. The musical could not be a better example of how a struggling mother strives to give her young daughter the best in life. Everyone can do their bit for the appeal by giving unwanted goods to Oxfam shops, Shwopping clothes in M&S, holding a fundraising event with friends, or simply donating money via Oxfam’s website.”
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.