Come from Away

Phoenix Theatre
Charing Cross Road, London

Public Previews: 30 January 2019
Opens: 18 February 2019
Booking to: 23 May 2020

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Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road or
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Theatre seating plan

Show times
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday no shows

Runs 1 hours and 40 minutes with no interval

Seat prices
£? to £?
(plus booking fees if applicable)

Come from Away

The West End transfer of the hit Tony-award winning musical Come From Away in London

September 11, 2001. Following the terrorist attacks in the US, all United States airspace is closed, and all planes are forced to land. 38 planes with nearly 7,000 passengers and crew on board land at Gander in Newfoundland, Canada - a town with a population of just 10,000 people. Come from Away is based on the actual events that took place on that day in Gander, and the days that followed.

Come from Away is a joyous new musical that shares the incredible real-life stories as a small Newfoundland community invited these "come from aways" into their lives.

PLEASE NOTE: Recommended for ages 10 and older.

The ensemble cast - who all play multiple roles - features Rachel Tucker as 'Beverley', David Shannon as 'Kevin T' / 'Garth', Jenna Boyd as 'Beulah', Nathanael Campbell as 'Bob', Clive Carter as 'Claude', Mary Doherty as 'Bonnie', Robert Hands as 'Nick' / 'Doug', Helen Hobson as Diane', Jonathan Andrew Hume as 'Kevin J' / 'Ali', Harry Morrison as 'Oz', Emma Salvo as 'Janice', and Cat Simmons as 'Hannah' with Mark Dugdale, Bob Harms, Kiara Jay, Kirsty Malpass, Tania Mathurin, Alexander McMorran, Brandon Lee Sears, and Jennifer Tierney. Directed by Christopher Ashley with musical staging by Kelly Devine, sets by Beowulf Boritt, costumes by Toni-Leslie James, lighting by Howell Binkley, and sound by Gareth Owen. Musical with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein.

Gander Airport, in Newfoundland, Canada, was initially built in the mid-1930s and within a few years become the world's largest airport due to it's location that enabled transatlantic flights between Europe and the US to be able to refuel. Thus meant that the airport was equipped with large enogh runways to allow large Boings and Airbuses to land and take-off. With the advent of new jet planes with a longer range in the 1960s, the airport began to be used much less, but the airport was still able to remain active duirng this time.

Immediately following the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, the US Federal Aviation Administration shut down the United States airspace, forcing over 4,000 planes to land at the nearest airport. Inbound flights from Europe where diverted to Canada and, within hours a total of 38 planes landed at Gander Airport, carrying a total of 6,579 passengers and crew. For a town like Gander, with a population of just 10,000 people this was an extraordinary challenge. What would happen over the next five days, that the planes, and all their passengers and crew where stuck in Gander?

Come From Away tells that extraordinary story....

When this production opened here at the Phoenix Theatre in February 2019, Dominic Maxwell in the Times praised how "this irresistible and inspiring Canadian musical by the writers and composers Irene Sankoff and David Hein is journalistic yet constantly inventive... The musical portrays vividly the fears of those passengers, trapped in isolated, Irish-accented Newfoundland while American airspace stays closed for five days... It's an evening that, frankly, gets everything right." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times said that "a musical about 9/11 sounds like one of the worst ideas a creative team could have. Yet Come From Away is a gem... because in the midst of that horror, it finds a positive true story and because its uplifting message about generosity and acceptance arrives as a tonic in our cynical and divided times... a moving, irresistible show that unapologetically champions kindness." Paul Taylor in the i newspaper explained that, "in these divisive times, with invasion scares and trumped-up national emergencies, the show's celebration of selfless hospitality has certainly found its moment... And yet I have qualms about the show. Drama thrives on conflict and this has very little of that. No one seems to grow more complex over time... But the mood is predominantly feel-good. Stirring and a bit queasy-making." Neil Norman in the Daily Express commented that, "from the opening number, Welcome To The Rock, in which the 12-strong multi-tasking cast stomp and sing to a great band, it is clear that this isn't any old musical... Tragedy peeks around the corners but the spirit of human generosity and warmth shines through. As feelgood stories go, it doesn't get much feel-better than this." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail thought that "what emerges from this is the most relentlessly cheerful and ecstatically wholesome feelgood show I've ever seen... No question, it's an impressive feat to weave so many characters and stories into a jubilant, sometimes poignant, uninterrupted 100 minutes. If I found it all too hearty, it undoubtedly salvages something sweet and warm from the wreckage of those dark days." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph held that "it would be a curmudgeon who didn't greet it with respectful admiration but, much as I consider its non-stop evocation of that rather surreal episode inspiring and even stirring, there's a glossiness about it that smooths over the upset of that era-defining event. What with the joyful, celebratory tone, we're almost in the realm of the tourist-board advert." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard highlighted how "in Christopher Ashley's nimble production... the songs, mostly choral and propulsive, have a crowd-pleasing warmth as well as a Celtic accent... in the end its defining features are charm, energy and a real generosity of spirit, and audiences are left with a nagging question: in a situation like the one the people of Gander faced, would we do the same?."

Rachel Tucker's London theatre credits include the role of 'Elphaba in Joe Mantello's production of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked the Musical at the Victoria Apollo Theatre in 2010 and 2016; the role of 'Poopay' in Lindsay Posner's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's comedy-thrilller Communicating Doors at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2015; and the role of 'Meat' in Christopher Renshaw's production of Ben Elton's Queen musical We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre in 2008.

Clive Carter's West End theatre credits include the role of 'Thomas Cromwell' in Michael Rudman's revival of Robert Bolt's play A Man For All Seasons at the Haymarket Theatre in 2005; the role of 'Gooper' in Anthony Page's revival of Tennessee Williams' play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Lyric Theatre in 2001; Joel Bishoff's production of Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' musical comedy I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at the Harold Pinter Theatre in 1999; the role of 'Edward VIII' in Frank Hauser and Thommie Walsh's production of the musical Always at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1997; the role of 'Lyman Sanderson MD' in Clifford Williams' revival of Mary Chase's comedy Harvey at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1995; and the role of 'Wolf' and 'Cinderella's Prince' in Richard Jones' production of Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods at the Phoenix Theatre in 1990.

Helen Hobson's London stage credits include the role of 'Nurse Plimpton' in Richard Baron's production of Anthony Horowitz's thriller Mindgame at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2000; and the role of 'the Mother Abbess' in Rachel Kavanaugh's revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in 2013.

David Shannon's West End musical credits include playing the role of 'Miss Trunchbull' in Matthew Warchus' production of Tim Minchin's musical of Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre in 2017; and the role of 'John' in Robert Carsen's production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Beautiful Game at the Cambridge Theatre in 2000. He has also, at various times, played the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Phantom Of The Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre; and the role of 'Jean Valjean' in the Schönberg and Boublil musical Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre.

"Come from Away sticks resolutely to a much nicer world, without conflict, and without much drama either... There's a glamorous female pilot with a girl-power anthem, and a mother whose son works as a firefighter in New York -- the one promising storyline here that might have developed some tension and dread, but which is too thin and underdone to really engage. You might at least have expected some great music. Newfoundland is essentially a British-Irish settlement, with a strong tradition of stomping fiddle-accordion folk, and the musicians on stage here are great -- but, alas, the songs are largely turgid and bland, wafty and unmemorable." The Sunday Times

"There have been many fictional and dramatic representations of 9/11, but Irene Sankoff and David Hein - the husband-and-wife writing team behind the musical - have found a powerful new angle... The citizens of Gander opened their hearts and their homes to the passengers, many of whom were fractious and terrified, afraid that World War Three had broken out. They overcame the logistical problems of food, shelter and sanitation and overwhelmed the travellers with their generosity. During the course of five days, friendships were formed and a love affair blossomed. Sankoff and Hein tell the real-life stories with grace and humour and provide a richly resonant score. Christopher Ashley directs an excellent cast of 12, who double and treble their roles with assurance. This is a triumph of both the human spirit and musical theatre." The Sunday Express

"A musical about 9/11 may be a startling concept, but this wonderful show based on a true story shines a light on the very best of humanity... The 12-strong cast double up as both locals and incomers to portray storylines, including a transatlantic romance and the pain of a woman whose firefighter son was last heard of in Manhattan. It's all propelled by crowd-pleasing songs, with folky numbers reflecting the island's Celtic heritage. Despite the horrific backdrop, the ultimate message is hopeful - and by the foot-stomping finale, it's impossible to resist this show's megawatt charm." The Sunday Mirror

Come from Away in London at the Phoenix Theatre previewed from 30 January 2019 and opened on 18 February 2019