Due to its huge success in both the UK and abroad, it’s no wonder that Conor McPherson’s triumphant tale of 1930’s Minnesota has returned to the West End. When it premiered back in 2018 the show received lots of critical acclaim, quickly becoming one of the favourite new musicals to see. This is the second time I have seen the show, but with a brand new cast, it feels totally fresh and as exciting as before.
The story follows a community that’s really struggling. Living together in a local inn, Nick – the owner – holds the keys to this sanctuary. However, he owes money to the bank – too much money, and that’s not the only problem he’s facing. His son is drinking himself to death, his adopted daughter is soon to give birth to a child she didn’t particularly want, and his wife struggles with her poor health and loss of memory. Still, life must go on – against all the odds.
McPherson’s script does well to highlight the important undertones of Bob Dylan’s music. In the script there are no moments of showing off; it’s simple authentic storytelling. If you mash this with fantastic performers, you get a show that’s a highlight from start to finish.
The ensemble shine, coming together to create a chorus of joy and heartbreak. There’s a real energy, which radiates around the auditorium. It’s still the track Tight Connection to my Heart that really pulls on your heartstrings, but this time it’s Gloria Obianyo that delivers a moment that packs a real emotional punch. It’s soulful and so evocative.
Once again, this is a highlight of current London Theatre, and a show not to be missed. 5/5
Review written by Charlie Wilks.
Girl from the North Country is currently showing until Saturday 1st February 2020 at the Gielgud Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…