Song From Far Away at HOME

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Song From Far Away at HOME
Image courtesy of Michael Wharley.

Song From Far Away at HOME Manchester, Manchester 22 February — 11 March 2023 Tickets from £10.00 — Book now

Will Young has made a tremendous return to stage in this powerful one-man show written by Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens and Mark Eitzel. Giving a cool, sensitive and unforgettable performance, Song From Far Away offers a window into the heart of a man who grieves for his younger brother. This major new production currently plays at HOME Manchester until 11 March .

One crisp winter day in New York, Willem is interrupted from the hum of his daily life by an important phone call informing him of his brother’s death. It’s time to go home.

Song From Far Away at HOME
Will Young in first performance of Song From Far Away at HOME, Manchester. All photos by Chris Payne.

Stephens’ script is beautifully and imaginatively written.

Home is Amsterdam – a place of estranged family and forgotten relationships. As Willem reflects on his life, hesitant to face the future, he starts to rediscover himself by reaching out to the brother he has lost through a series of letters.

Stephens’ script is beautifully and imaginatively written, and although the play tackles the tangled range of emotions associated with grief, it also looks to the future. We witness a man taking those tentative steps toward self-discovery and the lessons we can learn from loss.

There is nothing self-indulgent about Young’s performance as Willem – Stephens’ words are spoken with a rise-and-fall lyrical tone, disciplined and reflective. Giving a perfectly nuanced performance, Young’s Willem appears hardened and self-centred, matter-of-fact with a wonderfully wry sense of humour, though there are also delicate moments of heartfelt emotion, which visibly moved the audience on the night I attended.

Written by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Light Falls, Royal Exchange) and Mark Eitzel, this emotional homecoming is directed by the acclaimed Manchester-based Kirk Jameson and co-produced by Thomas Hopkins, Guy Chapman and HOME.

Song From Far Away at HOME
Will Young in first performance of Song From Far Away at HOME, Manchester. All photos by Chris Payne.

We witness a man taking those tentative steps toward self-discovery and the lessons we can learn from loss.

Song From Far Away is Will Young’s first live theatre role for a decade. The world-renowned performer first rose to prominence after winning the first-ever series of the ITV talent contest Pop Idol in 2002. Following a hugely successful music career, Young has acted in film, on stage and in television. He was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his performance in the 2013 London revival of Cabaret.

Running at 80 minutes without an interval, Song From Far Away is a wonderfully engaging piece of theatre. Thoughtful and brilliantly performed; with themes to reflect on and words that will revisit you for a while after the show comes down. A definite highlight in this year’s cultural calendar. Be sure to get a ticket.

Song From Far Away at HOME Manchester, Manchester 22 February — 11 March 2023 Tickets from £10.00 Book now

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Where to go near Song From Far Away at HOME

Manchester
Restaurant
Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
Manchester
Music venue
The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Homeground
Manchester
Event venue
Homeground

Homeground is HOME’s brand new outdoor venue, providing an open-air space for theatre, food, film, music, comedy and more.

Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
Burgess Cafe Bar
at IABF

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Rain Bar pub in Manchester
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

Manchester
Bar or Pub
The Briton’s Protection

Standing on the corner of a junction opposite The Bridgewater Hall, The Briton’s Protection is Manchester’s oldest pub. It has occupied the same spot since 1795, going under the equally patriotic name The Ancient Britain.

What's on: Theatre

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