Once, the 2006 Academy Award winning movie, was adapted for the stage to huge success.  After a year-long stint on the New York Theater Workshop stage in 2011, the musical was nominated for numerous prestigious awards and won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical. It was then taken to Broadway, earning even greater accolades, the most impressive of which were eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The long anticipated European tour opens in Ireland’s Gaiety Theatre this February.

A vacuum repair man and a Czech flower seller are the stars of the show, which opens on the hoover repair man cum guitarist, referred to as ‘guy’ throughout, as he plays to a small crowd in a Dublin pub.  Fresh out of a relationship with his London-based girlfriend, he is solemn, rueful and, at times, desperately lonely. His chance meeting with the inquisitive and forward flower saleswoman sets in motion a chain of events that cements the chemistry between the pair.

The story unravels to a backdrop of authentic and gritty life problems, like financial scarcity and loneliness, eventually revealing deeper hardships masked behind bright eyes and “I’ll be Okay” dispositions. The girl, referred to as such in the story, reveals her musical genius as she plays the piano for the first time in front of the awe-struck and doe-eyed ‘guy’, who makes an unsuccessful pass at her. After initial awkwardness, he apologises and the pair continues a relationship revolving around song writing and a mutual passion for music.

It’s a continuous will-they-won’t-they plot from the get-go, peppered in parts by romantic misadventure and near intimacy. The main track, Falling Slowly, is a haunting tune that brilliantly captures complex emotions like vulnerability, hope and love.

The movie, a down to earth expression of the love of music between a pair of gifted artists, has received widespread critical acclaim and a huge following.

It will begin this Feb at the Gaiety Theatre.

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