Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešic to Lead West End's ONCE
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by BWW News Desk
The Producers of the eight time Tony award-winning musical Once today announce that Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cviteši? will lead the cast as Guy and Girl respectively in John Tiffany's West End production of the Broadway hit musical opening at The Phoenix Theatre in Spring 2013.
The London production of Once will open at The Phoenix Theatre on 9 April, with previews from 16 March 2013 and is currently booking to 30 November 2013. Prior to its West End opening Once will run at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin from 22 February - 9 March 2013.
Once has book by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh. Based on the 2007 motion picture written and directed by John Carney, music and lyrics are by Academy Award winning Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who, for Falling Slowly, won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Scenic and costume designs are by Bob Crowley, with lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Clive Goodwin, musical supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe and movement by Steven Hoggett.
Having received the most nominations (35) in the 2012 theatre award season, Once went on to become the recipient of 21 awards, the most on Broadway that year. As well as winning eight Tony awards including Best New Musical, Once was named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards. The New York production of Once, the fastest Broadway musical to recoup in 16 years, opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in March 2012 where it continues to break box office records. Once will begin a US national tour launched by The Road Company in the summer of 2013.
Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cviteši? will be joined by Valda Aviks, Ryan Fletcher, AiDan Kelly, Gareth O'Connor, Michael O'Connor, Miria Parvin, Jos Slovick, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Jez Unwin and Gabriel Vick. Alternating the role of Girl's young daughter Ivanka will be Poppy-Lily Baker, Mia-Jai Bryan, Pacha Anna Green and Nancy Ann Jeans.
Based on the much-loved Oscar-winning film, Once is a celebration of love, friendship and music. When an Irish busker and a young Czech mother meet through a shared love of music, their songwriting sparks a deep connection and a tender, longing romance that neither of them could have expected.
Actor singer songwriter Declan Bennett (Guy) has appeared on Broadway and in the West End. His theatre credits include Rent and American Idiot on Broadway, Taboo at the Venue Theatre and It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow and Our Day Out for the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Following success as a member of the band Point Break, he released his first solo album The Painters Ball in 2005. Bennett's most recent album Record: Breakup was released in April 2011 preceded by An Innocent Evening of Drinking in 2008. His film credits include Inside Llewyn Davis, Contagion and Downtown Express.
Croatian born Zrinka Cviteši? (Girl), a theatre, film and television actor, has been a member of the Croatian National Theatre since 2005 where her roles included Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Irina in Three Sisters, Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Gwendoline in The Importance of Being Ernest, Lulu in Shopping and Fucking and Jenny in The Threepenny Opera. For her performance in What is a Man Without a Moustache? she won several awards including The Heart of Sarajevo Award and Best Actress Awards at the Sarajevo Film Festival, the Golden Arena Festival and the Pula Film Festival. For her performance as Luna in the award-winning On the Path she was named the Croatian Shooting Star at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival and also received a nomination in the Best Actress category at the 2010 European Film Awards. Her other film credits include The Horseman and most recently she won the Bernhard Wicki Award for Best Actress at the 2012 Münich Film Festival for her role in My Beautiful Country. In 2010 Cviteši? won Ples sa zvijezdama, the Croatian version of Dancing with the Stars.
Ryan Fletcher's (Svec) theatre credits include Blackwatch, Wolves in the Walls, The Wheel, Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us and Cockroach all for The National Theatre of Scotland, The Infamous Brothers of Davenport for the Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Beautiful Burnout for Frantic Assembly and The Last Witch for the Traverse Theatre Company. On television his credits include Gary: Tank Commander, Scottish Killers and Filthy Rich. His film credits include Meal Deal and Mary's Ride.
Miria Parvin's (Ex Girlfriend) theatre credits include the international tour of Mamma Mia, Our House on tour, Footloose on tour and in the West End and Starlight Express on tour. She has performed in several productions with the Finnish National Opera including The Magic Flute.
Flora Spencer-Longhurst's (Reza) theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest for the Theatre Royal Windsor, The Beggar's Opera for Regent's Park Theatre, Ghosts for the Young Vic and The Children's Hour for the Royal Exchange Theatre. On television her credits include Father Brown, Leonardo, Unforgiven, Wallander, Losing It, The Family Man and Dalziel and Pascoe. Her film credits include Walking with the Enemy.
Gabriel Vick's (Emcee) theatre credits include Chariots of Fire at the Gielgud Theatre, The Tempest for the Theatre Royal, Bath, Murder in the Cathedral for Oxford Playhouse, La Cage Aux Folles at The Playhouse, A Little Night Music for the Menier Chocolate Factory, Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre and Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre. His television credits include White Van Man, EastEnders and My Family. On film his credits include Les Miserables and The Invisible Woman.
Gareth O'Connor (Eamon) is making his West End debut in Once. His previous theatre credits include Irish tours of The Bus and Doughnuts. His television credits include Fair City and he is soon to feature in Channel 4's The Intern. He can be seen in the film Agnes Browne.
Enda Walsh is an Irish playwright living in London. He is the winner of numerous international awards and his work has been translated and produced worldwide. His recent plays include Misterman,
John Tiffany won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Awards for his work on Once. For his production of Black Watch he won the Laurence Olivier and Critics' Circle Best Director Awards as well as a Scotsman Fringe First, a Herald Angel and a Critics' Award for Theatre in Scotland. Tiffany was Associate Director for The National Theatre of Scotland from 2005 to 2012 where his productions included Macbeth, Enquirer, Peter Pan, The House of Bernarda Alba, Transform Caithness: Hunter, Be Near Me, Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us, The Bacchae, Black Watch, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn and Home Glasgow. His other work includes The Glass Menagerie (A.R.T.), Jerusalem for West Yorkshire Playhouse, Las Chicas del Tres y Media Floppies at the Granero Theatre, Mexico City and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, If Destroyed True, Mercury Fur and The Straits for Paines Plough, and Gagarin Way, Abandonment, Among Unbroken Hearts, Perfect Days and Passing Places for the Traverse, Edinburgh. From 1997-2001 Tiffany was Literary Director at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and from 2001 to 2005 was Associate Director at Paines Plough Theatre Company. During 2010-11 Tiffany was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University.
Glen Hansard's film credits are The Commitments and Once. His albums include Strict Joy, the Academy Award winning soundtrack of Once, The Swell Season, The Cost, Burn the Maps, Set List: Live in Dublin, For the Birds, Dance the Devil, Fitzcarraldo and Another Love Song.