REVIEW: Come from Away – Lyceum Theatre – Sheffield


The first UK tour of ‘Come from Away’ playing at the Sheffield Lyceum is a mesmerizing and heartfelt production that masterfully captures the spirit of unity and compassion found in the real-life events it portrays. Running until July 20, 2024, this touring production brings together an outstanding cast and creative team, ensuring an unforgettable theatrical experience.

At its core, ‘Come from Away’ is a celebration of humanity, kindness, and community. The musical tells the story of 7,000 air passengers grounded in Gander, Newfoundland, in the wake of 9/11, and the small community that welcomed them with open arms. The characters, based on real people, embody the best of humanity, showcasing how compassion and solidarity can emerge even in the darkest of times. The themes of hope and unity are conveyed through the heartfelt performances, soaring music, and clever staging, making this production both uplifting and inspiring.

Amanda Henderson’s portrayal of Beulah stands out for its perfect blend of humor and heart. Henderson’s comedic timing and warm presence provide much-needed levity, making Beulah an instantly lovable character. Her interactions with other characters are both genuine and humorous, adding a delightful touch of comedy to the show.

Jamal Zulfiqar delivers a phenomenal performance as Kevin J., showcasing remarkable depth and sensitivity. His portrayal is deeply moving, capturing Kevin J.’s emotional journey with authenticity and grace. Zulfiqar’s ability to convey a wide range of emotions makes his performance one of the most compelling in the show, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

The entire ensemble deserves praise for their exceptional performances. The whole cast display remarkable versatility and cohesion. Each actor transitions seamlessly between multiple roles, showcasing their range and adding to the dynamic storytelling of the production. All of them work phenomenally hard to produce a poignant and uplifting show.

One of the most striking aspects of this production is Howell Binkley’s exceptional lighting design. The lighting beautifully complements Beowulf Boritt’s set design, creating an immersive and dynamic environment that transports the audience to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland. The use of lighting to transition between scenes is seamless, with subtle shifts in color and intensity that perfectly match the mood and tone of each moment. Whether it’s the warm, inviting glow of the town’s hospitality or the stark, dramatic lighting during moments of tension, Binkley’s design adds a profound layer of emotion to the story.

‘Come from Away’ is an inspiring and cleverly crafted musical, with a narrative that flows effortlessly from one scene to the next. The pacing is expertly managed, ensuring that the story maintains its emotional impact without ever feeling rushed. The book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein are both poignant and spirited, capturing the essence of the story and the spirit of the characters. The musical numbers, enhanced by Kelly Devine’s musical staging and August Eriksmoen’s orchestrations, are a highlight of the show, blending seamlessly with the narrative and bringing the story to life in a powerful way.

In conclusion, ‘Come from Away’ at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre is a must-see production. The show’s exceptional lighting design, standout performances, and heartfelt storytelling come together to create an experience that is both powerful and uplifting. Running until July 20, 2024, this production is a testament to the enduring power of theatre to move, inspire, and bring people together. Whether you are familiar with the story or experiencing it for the first time, ‘Come from Away’ is a theatrical gem that will resonate with audiences long after leaving the theatre.

Come from Away plays until Saturday 20th July 2024 at the Sheffield Lyceum.

Photography throughout from Craig Sugden






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *