Once was a small film that may have passed a lot of people by, yet those who saw it adored it and with good reason. The two leads, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, acted, sung and performed the music they had also written with such apparent ease and emotion it was hard not to fall in love with their story. This was obviously a labour of love for the pair of them.
Once follows a guy and girl who meet randomly while the guy is busking on the streets of Ireland. When the girl finds he has a job repairing vacuum cleaners, she manages to get him to fix her broken one and the two soon discover a shared passion for music.
As the days pass, they learn more about each other's lives and start to realise that by being together and playing music together, they are slowly bringing each other back to life.
Ultimately, their music is cathartic. It voices their inner concerns, their past demons and all that they have tried to overcome. Everything they have felt in life is poured into it, resulting in an incredibly emotional soundtrack that speaks volumes when they cannot.
The play in London - which currently stars
Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who) and Zrinka Cvitešić - takes all the elements which made the film such a beautiful story to watch and adds even more passion. The songs remain, as does the story, albeit with a few tweaks to suit the production. There is also an added layer of humour which only serves to heighten the darker emotional scenes as the two musicians realise the extent of their feelings for one another. Cvitešić will sing with the voice of an angel, break your heart and then make you laugh.
Overall, the beautiful simplicity of the film, which is lovely and a joy to watch, is surpassed in the play adaptation by the extra layer of intensity. The play is such an immersive production that it really does pull you in.
See it! Then get the soundtrack and check out the film so you can keep appreciating (or singing!) the enchanting songs. This is a story to be enjoyed more than just Once.
Film - 4/5 FOBLES
Play - 5/5 FOBLES