Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešic to Lead West End's ONCE

The Producers of the eight time Tony award-winning musical Once today announce that Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cviteši? will lead the cast as Guy and Girl respectively in John Tiffany's West End production of the Broadway hit musical opening at The Phoenix Theatre in Spring 2013.

The London production of Once will open at The Phoenix Theatre on 9 April, with previews from 16 March 2013 and is currently booking to 30 November 2013. Prior to its West End opening Once will run at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin from 22 February - 9 March 2013.

Once has book by award-winning Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh. Based on the 2007 motion picture written and directed by John Carney, music and lyrics are by Academy Award winning Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who, for Falling Slowly, won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Scenic and costume designs are by Bob Crowley, with lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Clive Goodwin, musical supervision and orchestrations by Martin Lowe and movement by Steven Hoggett.

Having received the most nominations (35) in the 2012 theatre award season, Once went on to become the recipient of 21 awards, the most on Broadway that year. As well as winning eight Tony awards including Best New Musical, Once was named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards. The New York production of Once, the fastest Broadway musical to recoup in 16 years, opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in March 2012 where it continues to break box office records. Once will begin a US national tour launched by The Road Company in the summer of 2013.

Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cviteši? will be joined by Valda Aviks, Ryan Fletcher, AiDan Kelly, Gareth O'Connor, Michael O'Connor, Miria Parvin, Jos Slovick, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Jez Unwin and Gabriel Vick. Alternating the role of Girl's young daughter Ivanka will be Poppy-Lily Baker, Mia-Jai Bryan, Pacha Anna Green and Nancy Ann Jeans.

Based on the much-loved Oscar-winning film, Once is a celebration of love, friendship and music. When an Irish busker and a young Czech mother meet through a shared love of music, their songwriting sparks a deep connection and a tender, longing romance that neither of them could have expected.

Actor singer songwriter Declan Bennett (Guy) has appeared on Broadway and in the West End. His theatre credits include Rent and American Idiot on Broadway, Taboo at the Venue Theatre and It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow and Our Day Out for the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Following success as a member of the band Point Break, he released his first solo album The Painters Ball in 2005. Bennett's most recent album Record: Breakup was released in April 2011 preceded by An Innocent Evening of Drinking in 2008. His film credits include Inside Llewyn Davis, Contagion and Downtown Express.


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