Dublin in London: Once the Musical

10 Dec

While studying in Dublin, I have had the great opportunity to travel around Europe. I have loved spending time in Ireland, but it has also been nice to see other portions of a continent I have never visited. One weekend, I found a cheap flight to London and hopped the pond to visit another great European city.

While I was there, I planned on going to see a show in the West End theater district. Looking for discounted tickets, one of the best deals I could find was on tickets to the Tony Award winning musical “Once.” I had seen the movie a long time ago, but didn’t think about it, purchased tickets mainly because of their cheap price and went to see the show that evening.

Little did I know (or remember), the show was all about Dublin! It was a funny and pleasant surprise. The characters visited Walton’s music store, hung out at a local pub and even took a day trip to Howth. I loved the show. I decided to do a bit more research on the show and the film that inspired it.

“Once” is a movie-musical that was made in 2006. It was nominated for an Oscar and won for Best Original Song. The song “Falling Slowly” is now a popular love song and was featured in the musical. The film stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

The musical was very similar to the movie, ending in the same unsatisfying yet realistic way. Much of the film and the musical take place in a pub, with traditional trad sessions and Guinness being served all around. In fact, before the musical started, audience members are invited onto the stage to grab a pint with the actors. The set really felt like a pub, with well-worn seating, a bruised and battered bar and dim lighting.

I really loved the musical and the movie. The emphasis on the culture and the community of Ireland, specifically Dublin, showed through the theatrics. The diversity of Dublin was portrayed in the variety of characters. A few nods to Dubliners like a “Lidl” grocery bag and a “Supermacs” employee made the musical feel authentic. It was a lovely interpretation and did the movie and the city of Dublin justice. I would recommend going to see it if you ever get a chance.


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