Following Greater Brisbane’s recent snap lockdown, Come From Away is back on the Lyric Stage with all engines firing and the production’s message hitting home even more strongly than before.
The award-winning musical follows the incredible real-life journey of 7,000 air passengers who became grounded in Gander, Newfoundland in Canada in the wake of the September 11 tragedy. The small community invited the ‘come from aways’ into their lives providing hope and humanity to those in need.
Claude Elliott, the Mayor of Gander, is quoted as saying, “On the first day we had 7000 strangers, on the third day we had 7000 friends, on the fifth day we had 7000 family members.” A sentiment that sums up this heart-warming story perfectly.
Ahead of its recent opening, we snuck in a preview of the unforgettable musical performance and spoke with cast member Sarah Morrison and Resident Director and Choreographer Liam McIlwain about why they believe this show is so special.
“[This show means] a lot to me. I saw it originally in London. It’s a very beautiful show about a community coming together, which, I think in the last 12 months, everyone has experienced. I think the show has a message that we all have lived through in some way.” Sarah Morrison
“... it’s a good news story. We often don’t see that in theatre. Often we go to the theatre to see what we’re not good at, the mistakes we make. But in this show we celebrate kindness, generosity, community and love. I think that message is really resonating right now, given everything that happened throughout 2020 and even the last few weeks with the NSW and SEQ floods. It’s people coming together to support communities in crisis.” Liam McIlwain
The musical has won countless awards internationally including the 2017 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (Christopher Ashley); five Outer Critics Circle Awards (New York) including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; and four Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, Best Theatre Choreographer, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Achievement in Music.
Australian audiences have furthered its record-breaking status, earning the title of most successful musical ever staged in the Melbourne Comedy Theatre’s history, playing to full houses for its final week of performances. Here’s what the opening night audience at QPAC had to say:
We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors - our First Nations Peoples - gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards creating a better Queensland. Queensland Government’s RAP Acknowledgment of Country