Come from Away – Review : Feel good musical theatre

★★★★ An uplifting testament to the power of human kindness, ‘Come From Away’ is must-see musical theatre at its finest.
David Blanco  |  Art & Culture
Doug Hansell — Photo by Joseph Naim

Come From Away has opened in Canberra with a sold-out opening night performance, confirming that it has been worth the wait.

‘Come From Away’ tells the remarkable real-life story of a group of American Airlines passengers flying from Paris to Dallas who, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York, are diverted out of American airspace to the small Canadian town of Gander in Newfoundland.

Overnight, Gander saw its population double, with 38 aircraft arriving carrying almost 7000 ‘plane people’. The show chronicles how the townsfolk of Gander opened their hearts and homes to these stranded and bewildered passengers, and how their lives and those of the ‘Come From Aways’ are changed forever over the five days their paths cross.

★★★★ "An uplifting testament to the power of human kindness, ‘Come From Away’ is must-see musical theatre at its finest." — David Blanco, FUSE Magazine

The show boasts impeccable performances from its ensemble cast, with most performers playing multiple roles. Particular standouts are Zoe Gertz as Beverley Bass, a female pilot struggling to make sense of her situation and maintain her professional veneer to calm the fears of her passengers. Doug Hansell also delivers as Kevin Tuerff, a gay businessman navigating a rocky relationship with his partner, imbuing his role with charisma and sensitivity.

The strength of ‘Come From Away’ lies in Irene Sankoff’s and David Hein’s satisfying book, which skilfully weaves together multiple plotlines and fully-rounded characters to create a dramatically satisfying piece of theatre.  Another drawcard is the shows music, with toe-tapping and catchy numbers that blend traditional musical theatre orchestrations with the folk music of Newfoundland.

This production of ‘Come From Away’ lays claim to a milestone in Canberra’s theatrical history, having been booked for the longest run of any production staged at the Canberra Theatre. If the rapturous response on opening night is anything to go by, it will undoubtedly be a sell-out season. If you only see once piece of theatre this year, the bona fide crowd-pleaser ‘Come From Away’ should be at the top of your list.

Come from Away
Canberra Theatre
8 June – 9 July 2023



More Coverage

Come From Away, A musical not to be missed

A Heart-warming message of home and kindness, this musical will take you to a place you never want to leave!

Interview: Douglas Hansell in a story of kindness and community

With real-life gay characters and based on a true event that occurred after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Come from Away is a hugely entertaining tale about passengers stuck in the town of Gander in Newfoundland and is an ode to kindness and the power of community.

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