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Thursday 14 November 2019

Home Once more: Hansard's hit musical makes European debut

Laura Butler

IT won Glen Hansard an Oscar, has been awarded eight Tony awards for the Broadway version and now a new stage adaptation of 'Once' is about to take off in the city where the story is based.

The European premiere for John Tiffany's production, based on the much-loved film, will take place in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre next week ahead of its West End debut.

Taking on the role of the Irish busker, played by 'The Commitments' star Hansard on the silver screen, is British-born Declan Bennett.

Opposite him in the female lead is Zrinka Cvitestic (played by Marketa Irglova in the film).

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Bennett said that it was both an exciting and scary prospect stepping into Hansard's shoes – especially on an Irish stage.

"It's hard because people see Glen as such a big part of the story and it has his songs, too, but when you're doing the show you have to just disassociate yourself from that," he said.

"I don't want to imitate Glen – I want to bring my own thing to the character, but while staying true to his spirit and music."

London-based Bennett said while it featured all the songs from the original film, including the Academy Award-winning 'Falling Slowly', their production brings its own elements – there is even an Irish ceilidh on-stage.

Croatian actress Cvitestic told the Irish Independent that while she would be nervous on the show's opening night next Tuesday at the Gaiety Theatre, she was confident Irish audiences would embrace the adaptation. "I have a little fear because we're in Dublin and it's their story," said Cvitestic.

'Once The Musical' is scheduled to run until March 9.

Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster and all usual outlets.

Irish Independent

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