"Simplicity, charm and air of sweet melancholy."
-The Guardian-

"A genuine surprise, simple and affecting"
-What's On Stage-

"The bed-wetters’ musical..."
-The Daily Telegraph-

Sorry, Once closed on 20 Mar 2015

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About the show

Once the Musical is based on the independent film of the same name, directed by John Carney. The musical opened on Broadway in January 2012 and went on to win an impressive 8 Tony Awards including the award for Best Actor and Best Musical. The show features a book by the award winning Irish playwright Enda Walsh, along with musical and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The musical uses many of the songs from the film, including 'Gold' and the Academy Award winning 'Falling Slowly', which became popular on the soundtrack to the motion picture. The score is performed by a group of actor-musicians, meaning the actors provide the musical accompaniment themselves.

The production is directed by Tony and Olivier Award winner John Tiffany and features movement by Frantic Assembly's Olivier Award winning Steven Hoggett. The show features a design by Bob Crowley along with musical supervision by Martin Lowe. The simple staging helped the show generate attention on Broadway, and the audience are invited onto the stage before the show and during the interval to use the bar that also features as the show's set. The impressive design, simple story and emotive music all helped the show become an instant success.

The plot follows a Dublin busker known simply as 'The Guy' who meets a single Czech mother 'The Girl' who accompanies his music on her piano. She encourages him to start a band, and the pair perform for each other and collaborate on their songs. The Guy's band is noticed by a producer and he is offered a contract in New York City, and asks the Girl to move with him. Despite falling in love with each other, she chooses not to leave, but encourages him to pursue his life long dream.

The role of The Guy is currently being played by David Hunter who has recently appeared in National Theatre hit One Man Two Guvnors. The Girl is being played by Jill Winternitz who has recently been seen playing Baby in the musical of Dirty Dancing.

From the 17th of November 2014 pop legend Ronan Keating will be joining the cast of Once to play the leading role of Guy.

Who Should See It?

Once the Musical will be popular amongst fans of the film and those coming to it for the first time. The show's score doesn't feel like a traditional musical, therefore those who do not usually enjoy big, garish shows will enjoy the intimacy of the production.


  • The Guy - A '30 something' Dublin busker who falls in love with a Czech Girl after writing many songs about his ex-girlfriend. He dreams of becoming a professional musician and moving to New York.

  • The Girl - a single mother, originally from the Czech Republic. She plays the piano and helps The Guy with his musical ambitions.


  • Tony Awards 2012: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Set Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design.

  • Laurence Olivier Awards 2014: Best Actress in a Musical (Zrinka Cvitešić), Outstanding Achievement in Music.

Playing at

Phoenix Theatre
Charing Cross Road
Seating Plan

Phoenix Theatre seating plan

Booking period

16th Mar 2013

23rd Jun 2021

20th Mar 2015

Running time

2 hours and 30 minutes


Recommended for 12+ (bad language)