Come From Away – Review

Just seen this. Enjoyed it immensely. Not the most the most dazzling show in terms of what you can do with transforming staging or fancy special effects but very impressive in terms of what you can do with just 11 (12?) performers, all of whom gave it their all for whole performance.

It is the true story of small town called Gander in Newfoundland who found themselves the sudden hosts of just under 7,000 guests whose planes were diverted due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. With American airspace suddenly closed, all those planes crossing the Atlantic had to go somewhere.

What I liked most about the show was the way the story was told. There were no stand out ‘stars’ – every single member of the cast played multiple characters, sometimes they were the ‘plane people’, sometimes they were the residents who opened their homes and their lives. This surely reflects the truth that it took every member of the community each doing what they could to care as effectively as they did.

There was plenty of funny dialogue and some very moving moments as we watched how simple hospitality and kindness soothed the fears and suspicions of the bewildered, tired, hungry and often angry arrivals. They may have only stayed for 4 or 5 days but for that time they had only the clothes they stood up in and were utterly dependant on their hosts for food, shelter, showers and changes of clothes.

I loved the riff on ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ where people of all faiths prayed together. The whole show is a timely story about welcome, compassion and the capacity for kindness to turn things around for other people even when the very worst has happened.

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