Guest Post: Once the Musical

Theatre Breaks

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Superbreak’s CRM Executive, Graeme Smith took his first trade night trip to London this week to see Once the Musical. Here’s what he made of the visit…

Once the Musical
The Cast

Having previously lived in London for 5 years before leaving in 2011, I returned as a tourist to England’s capital on a Superbreak Theatre Break to see the new show ‘Once the Musical’ at the Phoenix Theatre.

The journey began at York, where I am now living, as myself and work colleagues travelled on a comfortable East Coast train for a relatively quick 1 hour and 50 minute journey to London Kings Cross. From there a few short tube stops to GreenPark station and we were at our hotel.

We were staying at the 4* Cavendish Hotel which is ideally located for London’s West End and as soon as we arrived we were warmly welcomed by the hotel staff. As I had spent so many years living in London, I hadn’t actually experienced staying in the vast range of hotels available in the city, but as a first impression go I was overwhelmed by the service received at the Cavendish. My stay was to get even better though as I was kindly offered a free upgrade from a Classic Room to an Executive Room which was luxurious, spacious, clean and very comfortable.

The Cavendish London
The Cavendish London

After a little rest, shower and change I met up with my work colleagues again for a quick bite to eat and then a short walk to the theatre that only took 15 minutes. As I was walking through the hustle and bustle of the grand streets of London and passing the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus, I felt a new excitement of being a tourist in London which I had previously under-appreciated only a few years previously, then started to realise why it’s a regular destination for both UK and international travellers alike.

We arrived at the Phoenix Theatre to see Once with no expectation of the show other than reading the synopsis and its success on Broadway. Whilst finding our seats, the theatre curtain was raised and the cast were playing instruments on stage. At first I thought we had arrived late but in fact it was just part of the pre- show entertainment. The stage itself was very simplistic and looked like a typical Irish pub, and the music played was also stereotypically Irish which I always find upbeat and created a good ambiance within the audience.

Once the Musical
Leading Duo

Surprisingly, during the show the stage was never used as an Irish pub but alternatively as a shop, bedroom, music studio and even a city skyline. However uniquely at the interval, people sat in the stalls were able to purchase drinks and snacks from the bar on the stage itself which looked like a great experience for the audience, however unfortunately we were sat in the grand circle so could not participate. Throughout the show though the music continued to be fantastic from all cast members and the story itself was brilliant, which in short was an old fashioned will they, wont they love story between two young musicians only to have other distractions in the process. I must warn anybody though who does like a ‘happily ever after ending’ to bring a set of tissues with them as there was a few teary eyes at the end of the show created from the talented drama and the emotive music played, but Once is definitely worth seeing on your next theatre break.

We returned to the hotel after the show for a drink before bed, served by attentive and professional bar staff, then headed off to bed for a very comfortable night’s sleep. Feeling refreshed in the morning we were spoilt with a wide range of cooked and continental breakfast options which set us up nicely for our trip back home to York.

Overall though a very enjoyable break and look forward to another trip to London soon!


Have you been to see Once the Musical yet?


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