Award-winning broadway musical DEAR EVAN HANSEN has finally opened in London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre, and it’s a smash-hit! Read our round-up of theatre critic reviews for Dear Evan Hansen at the Noel Coward Theatre.
The reviews love this new musical, brought over from Broadway by Cameron Mackintosh. Star of the show Sam Tutty – who is fresh out of drama school – gets special praise for his sensitive, powerhouse performance as Evan Hansen.
Directed by Michael Greif, the show also stars Lucy Anderson as Zoe Murphy, Doug Colling as Connor Murphy, Rebecca McKinnis as Heidi Hansen, Lauren Ward as Cynthia Murphy, Rupert Young as Larry Murphy, Jack Loxton as Jared Kleinman, and Nicole Raquel Dennis as Alana Beck.
The show boasts a book by Tony winner Steven Levenson and a score by Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (The Greatest Showman).
DEAR EVAN HANSEN reviews
"High-school musical captures agonies of youth"
"Sam Tutty shines as the lonely student who fabricates a friendship with a dead boy, but this award-winning musical has plot holes"
"The music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – who collaborated on the movies La La Land and The Greatest Showman – are good enough to overcome the occasional holes in the story."
"A superb, unmissable musical"
"Sam Tutty gives a star-making performance in a story of grief, deception and the conscienceless juggernaut of the internet"
"A fragile high schooler’s lie spins dizzyingly out of control as this smart Broadway musical smash finally hits the West End"
"It’s easy to see why ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ has won so many fans since it first premiered in 2015: it mixes agonising tension with surgingly catchy songs by songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who’ve also worked on movies ‘La La Land’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’. The standout numbers are emotive rock ballads like ‘You Will be Found’, the kind of thing you’d wave your lighter along to if the West End’s theatres weren’t imperilled enough already."
"Sam Tutty shines in bold Broadway musical export that mines new terrain"
"There’s a reason why Broadway critics and audiences love Dear Evan Hansen: it features real relationships and real problems as well as virtual ones, dramatising the agony of parents as well as the angst of teenagers. The score and lyrics have a clean-cut simplicity and a lack of bombast."
"Michael Greif’s production feels as if it’s been transported lock, stock and barrel from Manhattan, right down to the eyes-aloft, from-the guts-style of singing, which always looks odd and overdone in London. Ultimately, this is a high school drama about stalkers, trolls and those who piggyback on tragedy. Which may be a tough sell for a London musical audience."
"Powerful, moving and superbly performed"
"As shown in The Greatest Showman, Pasek and Paul have cracked the formula for four-chord pop songs; songs with a golden touch that means they’ll be audition numbers for the rest of time. Yes, a couple of those in second act are mawkish, but the rest are superb."
"A star is born as the Broadway hit comes to the UK"
"Dear Evan Hansen, which premiered in 2015 and stormed Broadway the following year (winning six Tonys), gives voice to the angst of doubt-riddled adolescence, the flipside of the country’s brutal winner-loser culture. It is also widely regarded as the first major musical to put the subject of social media centre-stage."
"I was consistently (darkly) entertained, not just by the narrative twists and turns but the internal knots into which Hansen ties himself, prompted by his tangle of misplaced altruism, grasping opportunism and beta-male insecurity. At the same time, the evening does feel – much like its protagonist – supremely calculated; and for all its cleverness, there is an air of chilliness about it. Original though the scenario undoubtedly is, it unfolds fairly schematically; too few of the characters feel fully fleshed out."
"Witty songs light up tale of teenage trauma"
"if the prospect of spending an evening contemplating the perils of peer pressure, family breakdown and rampant social media seems less than inviting, be reassured that Dear Evan Hansen is worth it."