Song From Far Away at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 22 February–11 March 2023, 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.
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.
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