Dear Evan Hansen

Noel Coward Theatre
St Martin's Lane, London

Previewed: 29 October 2019
Opened: 19 November 2019
Booking up to: 30 May 2020

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Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

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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 ? hours and ? minutes

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Dear Evan Hansen

The West End transfer of the Tony Award-winning new musical Dear Evan Hansen in London

A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he's always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Deeply personal and profoundly contemporary, this new musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul is about life and the way we live it.

The cast features Sam Tutty as 'Evan Hansen' and Lucy Anderson as 'Zoe Murphy', with Rebecca McKinnis as 'Heidi Hansen', Doug Colling as 'Conor Murphy', Lauren Ward as 'Cynthia Murphy', Rupert Young as 'Larry Murphy', Jack Loxton as 'Jared Kleinman', and Nicole Raquel Dennis as 'Alana Beck', along with James Winter, Haydn Cox, and Mark Peachey. Marcus Harman as 'Alternative Evan Hansen'. Please note that all casting is subject to change without notice. Directed by Michael Greif with choreography by Danny Mefford, sets by David Korins, costumes by Emily Rebholz, projections by Peter Nigrini, lighting by Japhy Weideman, andsound by Nevin Steinberg. Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and book by Steven Levenson.

When this production opened here at the Noel Coward Theatre in London's West End in November 2019, Nick Curtis in the London Evening Standard explained how "this multi-Tony award-winning Broadway musical carves out bold new territory for the form, taking on depression, herd behaviour on social media, and the public nature of modern grieving... There is a slightly icky undertone to the whole endeavour that may prove a challenge to London audiences, though... Steven Levenson's book relies on a large amount of coincidence and is curiously old fashioned about modern life: everyone's on Facebook, no one has a phone. The sympathy it demands for Evan also feels a stretch." Marianka Swain in the i newspaper highlighted that "Michael Greif's slick production features sharp satire and winning three-dimensional characterisation... It also handles social media brilliantly, demonstrating how quickly grief becomes performative, monetised, then subject to vitriolic backlash - private pain made public property... This is a thoughtful examination of mental illness, family and class differences, and of the way the internet age shapes us." Clive Davis in the Times said that "if the prospect of spending an evening contemplating the perils of peer pressure, family breakdown and rampant social media seems less than inviting, be reassured that Dear Evan Hansen is worth it. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have fashioned a set of sophisticated and cathartic numbers. And although the ending feels slightly sentimental, Steven Levenson's book is still a courageous and often witty attempt to make sense of adolescent trauma." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail wrote that, dealing with suicide, "it's obviously tricky territory, which Benj Pasek and Justin Paul navigate with bold, rocky tunes and thoughtful lyrics... Unfortunately, I didn't find the Dear Evan Hansen music especially memorable - except, perhaps, the big emotional anthem For Forever... Michael Greif's production runs like a slick PowerPoint presentation, with David Korin's staging like a cross between an airport and a computer screen." Michael Billington in the Guardian described how "it captures the agonies of youth, allows the songs to grow out of the action and boasts a great role for its lead actor. I admired the show without lapsing into unqualified rapture... Michael Greif's direction, deploying a kaleidoscopically digital design by David Korins, is swift and sensitive. Everything, in fact, is expertly done but, if I didn't totally surrender to the show, it is because it lacks the courage to admit that high anxiety is not so easily cured." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph thought that "the evening does feel - much like its protagonist - supremely calculated; and for all its cleverness, there is an air of chilliness about it. Original though the scenario undoubtedly is, it unfolds fairly schematically; too few of the characters feel fully fleshed out. Directed by Michael Greif, the evening has no weak links, casting-wise." Neil Norman in the Daily Express commented how "it makes an unlikely subject for a musical. But it succeeds thanks to a confident story and songs... The lyrics are smart and sometimes very funny and many of the tunes are memorable, if not catchy. A handful of them are heart-stoppingly moving... Hats off to the largely youthful cast and director Michael Greif who negotiates the script's complexities with ease"

"The music is middle-of-the-road, inoffensive but without any must-hum melodies. There are worse ways to spend a night in the theatre... Friendless Evan is so unhappy at school, he has been seeing a psychiatrist. We do not meet that shrink or hear how the fees are paid. The plot is full of such holes... Despite the talk about this being a musical for the Facebook age, social media is but part of the story. It is more about youthful clumsiness, nascent teenage romance and the horrific growth of a well-intentioned lie. The staging is determined to emphasise the web elements. Once again we have that business of racing digits marking the rise of public interest in a social media posting. Cue throbbing guitar work and uplifting chords. Screenshots and video grabs fill the stage's vertical panels. Much of this feels ancien chapeau. Ditto the way the plot interprets the effect of social media. It was written in 2014, and things online have become darker since then." The Sunday Times

"This is a show about America's young generation of lonely introverts, glued to their phone screens, thinking suicidal thoughts. In New York the show was an award-strewn hit. I doubt it'll prove so popular here because we are behind the US - if only a bit - in encouraging children to believe that they are utterly special geniuses, even when they are plainly average or dim... The big upside here is a quality score by the composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul... the show's pleasing numbers go hand in glove with Steven Levenson's quirky story... It's a heartfelt show whose originality is its trump card. But it's also a bit wet. It had me despairing of a country once home of the brave, now increasingly the land of the lonely nerd." The Mail on Sunday

"Evan is a deeply disturbed schoolboy who is encouraged to write inspirational letters to himself by his therapist. When one is found in the pocket of Connor, a classmate who has committed suicide, Evan is mistaken for his best friend... Unused to such popularity and unwilling to disillusion Connor's family, Evan wades deeper and deeper into deceit, until his inevitable exposure... This is a small-scale musical played by a cast of eight and a band of nine but in the hands of composers and lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and writer Steven Levenson it packs a tremendous emotional punch. Levenson's 'book' is so strong that it would stand alone as a play. Director Michael Greif, designer David Korins and choreographer Danny Mefford bring their Broadway expertise to create a flawless production superbly performed by all." The Sunday Express

Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway in New York at the Music Box Theatre on 4 December 2016, where it continues to play. The acclaimed production won a total of six Tony Awards, including for 'Best Musical', 'Best Book of a Musical', 'Best Original Score', 'Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical' for Ben Platt in the title role, 'Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical' for Rachel Bay Jones as 'Heidi Hansen', and 'Best Orchestrations' for Alex Lacamoire.

Dear Evan Hansen in London at the Noel Coward Theatre, previewed from 29 October 2019, and opened on 19 November 2019