Producers of Once have confirmed the musical will close in the West End on Saturday 21st March 2015 ahead of a planned European tour.
Boyzone star Ronan Keating joins the cast at the Phoenix Theatre as Guy from Monday 17th November. He will play the role opposite Jill Winternitz as Girl until the production closes. It has also been confirmed that the Broadway production will close in January, concluding a three year run.
Once famously picked up 8 Tony awards including Best Musical whilst the West End production, which opened in April 2013, went on to win the 2014 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music. Zrinka Cvitešić also won an Olivier Award for her performance in the original cast.
Once provides a very different and unique theatrical experience. The cast double up as musicians and if you arrive early enough you’re invited to enjoy a drink at the onstage bar. Once is a story of friendship and love, the musical follows an Irish busker who earns a living by fixing hoovers and a straight talking Czech single mother. The pair develop a bond through their mutual love of music and together they write songs, but it’s unclear as to where their relationship is leading to.
Based on the 2007 motion picture, Once opened in Australia earlier this week to huge acclaim. It is also currently touring the US ahead of a season in Japan. Productions are also planned for Toronto and South Korea. The creative team are in the process of developing productions for Sweden, Brazil, Holland, Greece, The Czech Republic, Thailand and Ireland.
Although an official announcement is yet to be made, Baz Bamigboye has revealed Bend It Like Beckham the musical is ready to open at the Phoenix Theatre next spring. The new show has music and lyrics by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart. If confirmed, the production will be directed by Gurinder Chadha who directed and co-wrote the film. Samantha Barks, Richard Fleeshman and Frances Ruffelle starred in last year’s development workshop.