ONCE announces Australian Cast

ONCE_photo by Jim LeeThe Guinness flowed at Melbourne’s Irish Times pub, as a company of incredibly talented performers were announced for the multi-award-winning musical ONCE – opening at the Princess Theatre for a limited season from 4 October.

The cast includes: Anton Berezin, Andrew Broadbent, Ben Brown, Gerard Carroll, Colin Dean, Brent Hill, Stefanie Jones, Keegan Joyce, Amy Lehpamer, Lachlan Neate, Jane Patterson, Greg Stone, Susan-ann Walker and Paul Watson. Heading up the ensemble in the key roles of Guy and Girl are Tom Parsons and Madeleine Jones.

Rising British star Tom Parsons was in the 2012 UK Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, played Nicky and Trekkie in Avenue Q on the West End and recently sang the lead role in the concert for Bobby Cronin’s concept album Concrete Jungle at St James Theatre in London.

Madeleine Jones graduated from Sydney’s Actors Centre in 2009. Her theatre roles include Cissy Franks in Punk Rock and Sister Martha in Cyrano de Bergerac, both shows winning the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Independent Production. This year she has appeared in The Incredible Book Eating Boy at the Sydney Opera House and M.Rock for the STC.

“The creative team has put together a fantastic ensemble of performers who are the ultimate quadruple threats,” said Producer John Frost. “Not only do they sing, dance and act their hearts out but they are also fabulous musicians. Talk about impressive.”

Tony Award-winning director John Tiffany said, “I was blown away by the talents of the actors we met for the Australian production of ONCE and Tom and Madeleine as Guy and Girl are going to be magical together. I cannot wait to start rehearsals and experience this amazing company learning and playing these beautiful songs together and then sharing them and this story with a new audience.”

A sell-out since making its world premiere on Broadway in January 2012, ONCE won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Direction. It was also named Best Musical by the Drama Desk Awards and the New York Drama Critics Circle and won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. It opened in London’s West End last year where it won two Olivier awards including Outstanding Achievement in Music.

Based on the Irish film which became a surprise international hit in 2006, and won an Oscar for Best Song (Falling Slowly), ONCE follows the tender romance of a struggling Irish busker and a piano-playing Czech immigrant. This authentic, emotionally honest musical features the brilliant collection of songs about longing and heartbreak from the original film by Glen Hansard (The Frames) and Markéta Irglová. It has been adapted for the stage by the celebrated Irish playwright and screenwriter, Enda Walsh (Disco Pigs and Hunger) and the award-winning UK theatre director John Tiffany.

A show that only comes around ONCE, it is an achingly beautiful, joyously uplifting show that strikes a chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all. Tiffany, together with Musical Supervisor Martin Lowe, will begin rehearsals in Melbourne on 18 August ahead of the opening night on 4 October. Previews commence from 26 September. For more information, visit: www.oncemusical.com.au for details.

Image: Tom Parsons and Madeleine Jones – photo by Jim Lee