The Comedy Theatre, Melbourne (venue)
02 February 2021 (released)
Set in the aftermath of September 11, Come From Away is a glimmer of hope for the Arts industry. Almost a year ago, the curtain came down on theatres around the world due to Covid -19, ravaging the industry. After enduring one of the toughest and longest lockdowns in the world, Melbourne theatre has come to life again. The award- winning musical is now playing at The Comedy Theatre until March 21 and will have you gripped right from the onset.
Like many people, I’ll never forget September 11 and still remember how devastated I felt watching the planes crash into the twin towers on the news. I remember standing in front of the TV dumbfounded. I couldn’t watch anything other than news related to September 11 for three weeks straight. It was a tough time for many and Come From Away pays homage to the people stranded in the tiny town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada and those who opened their doors and hearts to them.
After the planes hit the twin towers, 38 planes were diverted from US airspace, leaving almost 7,000 passengers stranded. What occurred next left behind a touching legacy in Gander and paved the way for long – lasting friendships and memories.
After hearing about the stranded passengers, the people of Gander and surrounding towns, gave them food, shelter and most importantly moral support as they tried to come to terms with the unfolding tragedy. The events of September 11 were felt far and wide and band them together.
Although there is only a small cast of 12, the stage feels full of life as each actor plays multiple roles. By simply donning a new hat, jacket, glasses or accent, the narrative moves along seamlessly as each actor interchanges. It’s a tough task but one they entire company makes look effortless. It was simply flawless!
Zoe Gertz who plays Beverley Bass, the first female captain of an American Airlines plane, was a standout as she sung, “Me and the Sky”. Emma Powell was sensational as the kind-hearted Beulah. Belluh helped set up the primary school to welcome stranded travellers along with the towns people. Powell has a powerful voice and is wickedly funny. Kolby Kindle who portrayed Bob among other characters showed his acting prowess and dominated each scene he was in.
“Welcome to the Rock” and “Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere” performed by the company were powerful and I was moved to tears many times. When a musical has the power to make you feel every emotion, you know you are watching something purely magical. Having the orchestra join the cast on stage is a rarity and an absolute stroke of genius. By far one of the best musicals I’ve had the pleasure to review.