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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke


🎭 Come From Away

📍 The Lyric, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2TR

🗓 Tuesday 9th April 2024



The award-winning musical Come From Away is currently embarking on its first ever UK tour - direct from the West End - and this week the show is playing at Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Come From Away follows the true story of a small Canadian community who opened their hearts and their homes to 7,000 people when their planes were unexpectedly grounded during the 9/11 terror attacks which closed American airspace. The show beautifully shows the very best of humanity as the community rallied around to do whatever they could for the scared and disorientated passengers, crew members and animals which had been travelling on the flights.

The heart and truth of this incredible story seemed to resonate with the entire auditorium and the impact was profound. There were tears throughout, but they were a real mixture of tears of sadness, sheer joy and absolute hilarity. We were really taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as the fast-paced story swept us willingly along, never losing focus or confusing the audience.

This show is something special, elevated to stratospheric levels by the incredible cast. Come From Away is a real ensemble piece and the 12 actors on the stage blew me away. Each cast member played a plethora of roles throughout and displayed multi-rolling at its absolute finest, seamlessly changing characters, clothing, accents and physicality swiftly and with precision. They were all an absolute marvel.

As Beverley, Sara Poyzer displayed unparalleled vocals as she delivered the powerful Me and the Sky. The song takes you through her story of becoming the first female pilot for American Airlines and takes a sudden shift change which really hits hard. I really enjoyed how this song doesn’t get the chance to finish properly to avoid any likelihood of applause at its conclusion. Just one of the many ‘wow’ moments throughout.

Jamal Zulfiqar was absolutely incredible in this production, notable because his two main characters were both so different from each other. As Kevin J he was magnificently camp and provided some much needed comic relief, while as Ali, an Egyptian chef who just wants to help, he falls victim to the paranoia, anger and hatred of his fellow passengers. He acts this with complete truth and sensitivity.

The entire cast are phenomenal, with not one weak link amongst them, and it is a privilege to be able to witness and be in the presence of such talent. Diane and Nick’s love story was impressively brought to life by Kirsty Hoiles and Daniel Crowder and Natasha J Barnes, Rosie Glossop, Oliver Jacobson and Nicholas Pound were all impeccable in their roles.

Dale Mathurin gave a sensitive performance as Bob while Amanda Henderson gave everything she had to the lovable Beulah, striking a glorious balance between caring and funny. Mark Dugdale was remarkable throughout and completely immersed himself in the show, almost becoming the physical embodiment of the heart of the story.

Bree Smith was absolutely sensational as Hannah, who is trying to reach her firefighter son in New York. She perfectly portrayed raw emotion with utter believability and her story was heartbreaking. She displayed breathtaking vocal control as she sang, giving what was, in my opinion, the standout performance of the night. No mean feat in such an accomplished company.

There were so many moments during the performance where I had chills running through my body and I watched in awe as this mesmerising production completely stole my heart. There honestly aren’t enough superlatives to describe just how phenomenal Come From Away is. It really is the MUST-SEE SHOW OF THE DECADE.

This story shows the importance and the power in community and kindness. Things which in todays world can often take a back seat as everyone looks out for themselves. We are reminded in this show that no matter what race, religion, sexuality or age we are, we are all part of one human race, and this fact quashes any cultural differences.

The simplistic set works wondrously well here, with tables and chairs being repositioned by the actors throughout to represent many different things, such as aeroplanes and buses! The lighting design is a triumph too as it perfectly reflects the emotions on stage and elevates them even more.

No review of this production would be complete without mentioning the extraordinary musicians, who are very much a part of the production. Their energy and joy is contagious as they perfectly play folksy / celtic / rock inspired score, and are given the acknowledgement they deserve as they take centre stage to end the show with a bang.

Come From Away had the entire audience on their feet in unison within a split second of the show ending in the fastest standing ovation I have ever been a part of. There was then a surreal moment of calm and silence when the finale ended as we all stood there in utter amazement at what we had just witnessed.

I could honestly go on and on about how utterly compelling and mesmerising this was but I implore you to book a ticket and experience it for yourself. Come From Away is playing at Theatre Royal Plymouth until Saturday 13th April - click here to check availability and book tickets. You don’t want to miss this.

Neill Kovacic-Clarke

All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest, fair and free from influence. Theatre is subjective and it is important to remember that all views expressed are just those of one reviewer.

My ticket for this performance of Come From Away was gifted by the Theatre Royal Plymouth who invited me to watch the show in exchange for my honest review. The fact that my ticket was gifted played no part in the content of my review or the star rating given.


Natasha J. Barnes as Janice and others; Daniel Crowder as Nick, Doug and others; Mark Dugdale as Kevin T, Garth and others; Rosie Glossop as Bonnie and others; Amanda Henderson as Beulah and others; Kirsty Hoiles as Diane and others; Oliver Jacobson as Oz and others; Dale Mathurin as Bob and others; Nicholas Pound as Claude and others; Sara Poyzer as Beverley, Annette and others; Bree Smith as Hannah and others; Jamal Zulfiqar as Kevin J, Ali and others

RUNNING TIME (approx):

1 hour 40 minutes, with no interval


Occasional mild language; Themes of loss and distress; References to terrorist activity



The Theatre Royal Plymouth is the principle home of the performing arts in the South West and is the largest and most attended regional producing theatre in the country. Their mission is to develop and deepen people's engagement with pioneering creativity in Plymouth and the South West, delivering experiences that spark delight, expression and fulfilment. The venue offers three performance spaces of various sizes, the largest being The Lyric which accommodates the big touring productions. The Drum and The Lab are smaller, intimate spaces and often offer pioneering productions.


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