Come From Away: standing ovation from Sydney
Written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away now playing at Capitol Theatre is the perfect representation of storytelling through art.
Based on true recounts of the unexpected crisis response landings in Newfoundland on September 11, 2001, the set, cast, and crew come together to encapsulate the hundreds of untold stories from people around the world in this light-hearted, touching, and inspiring display.
With the stage and simplistic set being illuminated before the stall lights are dimmed, the audience is invited to take their seats, going back in time, and bracing for this emotional thrill of a show. The sincere reality of the 2001 tragedy is continually contrasted through relatable remarks, uplifting music and comedic essence, ensuring that audience members are reminded of the positivity, which arose from the kindness that humanity displayed at such time.
Holding no hesitation to help where required, the population of Newfoundland is portrayed with such patience and empathy, whilst the ‘Come From Aways’ are posed with a sense of gratitude and adventurous spirit as they form friendships, relationships, and everlasting memories with those around them.
As an American story being told in Australia, the incorporated display of religious variance, vital to the story line creates a moment of reflection, specifically targeting the value of communication in times of uncertainty. Additionally, spoken time stamps, and allusions to alternate media sources such as radios and televisions allow the audience to follow the narrative as if it were in real time.
The small and incredibly talented cast playing multiple roles (captains, mayors, pilots, reporters, etc.) project a countless array of emotions including helplessness and relief, and at times are joined centre stage by the eight live musicians—an outstanding fusion of the arts to be witnessed by the audience.
Through gasps and goosebumps, laughter and tears, the captivated audience watches in awe as pitch perfect singing, faultless acting, and fast paced choreography fill the theatre.
The constant development of the plot through seamless costume, set, and lighting transitions keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as they follow pivotal moments of oblivion, realisation, hope, and grief—all real feelings that emphasise the scale of impact that the 9/11 tragedy had on the world.
38 planes, 7000 stranded passengers, 1 small town, and a standing ovation from the audience.