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The Smash-Hit Musical 'Once' Arrives in Newcastle

After a sell-out 2019 Sydney season, the breathtaking Broadway musical ONCE is about to melt hearts again when it plays the Civic Theatre Newcastle for five shows only from 8–11 September.


Based on the movie of the same name by John Carney, ONCE features a book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. It is the only Broadway show with music that won the Academy Award®, Grammy Award®, Olivier Award and Tony Award®.

Richard Carroll directs this critically acclaimed production with musical direction by Victoria Falconer. It features stunning movement sequences created by Hamilton's resident director Amy Campbell. Jay Laga'aia joins Australian musical theatre stars Toby Francis and Stefanie Caccamo, who are returning to the roles inspired by the love story of ONCE's songwriters.

Irish singer and songwriter Glen Hansard formed his group The Frames in 1990, before appearing as guitarist Outspan Foster in the motion picture The Commitments. In 2001 he performed with The Frames at a music festival in the Czech Republic, where he first met Markéta Irglová. Six years later, they formed the folk duo The Swell Season. Their self-titled album included several songs that found their way onto the 2007 ONCE soundtrack including, "When Your Minds Made Up", "Lies", "Leave", and the Oscar-winning "Falling Slowly."

Top: Stefanie Caccamo and Toby Francis in the 2019 season of ONCE. © Robert Catto

Above: Jay Laga'aia in rehearsal for ONCE. ©Robert Catto

This captivating and life-affirming musical immerses audiences in the irresistible musicality of Dublin. It is brought to life by an outstanding ensemble of actor-musicians playing the spellbinding songs from the critically-acclaimed film live on stage. Performing alongside Francis, Caccamo, and Laga'aia will be Victoria Falconer, Drew Livingston, Abe Mitchell, Rupert Reid, Alec Steedman, who are all returning after performing in the original 2019 season. They are joined by newcomers Tamlyn Henderson, Deirdre Khoo, Patrick Schnur and Jennifer Trijo, who is also Associate Musical Director.

Award-winning Director Richard Carroll considers ONCE to be one of the most challenging musicals for the artists involved. "It asks for so much from its actors. Not only do they need to tell this beautiful story every night with truth, passion and humour – they also need to sing the unforgettable songs with all of the same qualities. And they are their own band, so every one of them needs to be an exceptional instrumentalist. I was blown away by the capabilities of the cast and creative team we assembled for ONCE in 2019, and I can't wait to do it all again for audiences in Newcastle to see."

When Richard Carroll's production of ONCE opened in Sydney in 2019, it broke box-office records and played to nightly standing ovations and packed houses. Garnering five-star reviews, the sell-out season had to be extended due to popular demand. Now it is Newcastle's turn to fall in love with this modern-day musical that reminds us of the power of music to connect us all.

ONCE plays the Civic Theatre Newcastle from 8–11 September. Book now at


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