I have always loved Once since it came out as a little known film and then seeing the musical adaption in London, so when the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch announced the UK regional version I jumped at the chance to see it again.

Once is a wonderful love story between two people from very different backgrounds who slowly fall in love through their shared love of music.

The songs are beautifully written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, my favourite being ‘When Your Minds Made Up’ and the song that won an Oscar ‘Falling Slowly’ and ‘If You Want Me.’

The band throughout plays instruments that I have not seen on stage in a long while, like the cello and violin on a classic Dublin pub set.

The film demonstrates the power of music both to express deep hurt and pain and as an antidote for it.

The unlikely couple has no specific names, the Guy is a designer-stubble brooding busker played by Daniel Healy, whose girlfriend has abandoned him for New York and who is himself about to abandon composing until he runs into the Girl played by Emma Lucia, a piano-playing Czech single mother who can hear the pain and the talent in his music.

Daniel Healy was the understudy to Ronan Keating in the West End adaption of the show and sung the songs with amazing passion and depth.

Great support came from Sean Kingsley who plays Billy and Kate Robson-Stuart who plays Reza.

If you haven’t seen Once yet it is well worth a visit, the music is classic, the characters very loveable and I had a tear in my eye at the end. Once will certainly tug on your heartstrings.






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