So, next Monday was going to be Ronan's first night at 'Once' at London's Phoenix Theatre. There was no way I was going to miss that - but the big moment actually happened sooner than expected!
It's Saturday as I type this and I arrived in town at noon, planning to catch up with friends... and then we found out Ronan was doing the matinee in just a few hours. I suppose he wanted his first performance to happen without all the pressure that will be on him on Monday, seeing as Nov 17th has been advertised for months and all eyes will be on him.
So what did we do? We booked tickets of course!
There's plenty of reviews of the show itself online already, so I won't go into detail about the story. Let me tell you one thing: I am not a theatre person, and certainly not a musical person, but I guess people are right when they say that this one's different. It feels 'real', no gimmicks, no big fuss. The cast are a bunch of great musicians, the setting is simple, and it's really all about the actors and the music. I'll happily watch this again.
The play begins with the whole cast coming on stage playing a song together, and so all of a sudden there's Ronan amongst them all with his guitar. The whole situation still seems surreal to me. He looks very nervous - and I'm feeling nervous. What if something goes wrong? What if he forgets his words? Because I haven't seen the show before, I can't tell whether anything's not as it should be, but I can say with relief that he seems flawless to me. He begins to look more relaxed halfway through Part One, and I can see he's enjoying himself up there on that stage. Him and the rest of the cast work really well together. There's some funny dialogue, there's a scene where he pulls down his trousers, and there's deep sentimental moments - and I'm glad there's no 'crazy' fan reactions in the audience. Yes we all fancy him, but this isn't a concert. Monday night's going to be interesting... I personally hope there won't be any screaming "I LOVE YOU", and that fans leave their cameras in their bags.
I get more and more impressed as the show continues. Some of these songs showcase his voice like nothing else ever has. He's really worked on his guitar playing skills as well. And whilst he is up on that stage, he actually is 'Guy' instead of Ronan. I think he is completely amazing in this role and I feel so proud. Why does he not challenge himself like this more often?
It'll be interesting to see how Ronan's performance evolves over the next couple of shows as he settles in. I'm loving this new adventure, and I think many others will too. I've heard of people travelling to see this from as far as Australia... and let me tell you it is so worth it.
Tickets to see Ronan in Once are available on the ATG Tickets website.