Song From Away Reviews – starring Will Young

Reviews are coming in for the Song From Far Away at Manchester’s HOME theatre starring Will Young.

Song From Away is written by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night–Time) and Mark Eitzel (lead singer of American Music Club), and follows a New York-based man who is forced to return home to Amsterdam after receiving a significant phone call.

Pop star Will Young’s previous stage performances include Strictly Ballroom The Musical, Cabaret and The Vortex. On film, he has appeared in Mrs Henderson Presents.

Directed by Kirk Jameson (Love Story), this new revival is playing at HOME in Manchester until 11 March 2023.

Other creatives include design by Ingrid Hu, lighting design by Jane Lalljee, sound design by Julian Starr, and music composition, supervisor and arranger Paul Schofield.

The show first premiered at the Young Vic in 2015 starring Eelco Smits with direction by Ivo van Hove.

Read reviews from the Guardian, Telegraph and more.

More about Song From Away tickets

Song From Far Away reviews

The Guardian

"Will Young acts with melodic grace in poignant monologue"

"The star performs with a musician’s sense of rhythm in this alternately arch and elegiac piece by Simon Stephens and Mark Eitzel about a bereaved brother attempting to reconnect with his former life"

"... if ever there was an actor born to sing, it is Will Young. He plays the part of the disconnected Willem in this 80-minute miniature with melodic grace."

"At turns louche, comic and fragile, he has a musician’s sense of rhythm. When he actually sings, as he does in the cathartic pay-off, it is delicate and angelic."

"That Young lost his own brother in 2020 adds an edge of poignancy to this tale of a man half-heartedly trying to reconnect with his old life in the Netherlands after 12 years in the US. But although Song from Far Away ticks off the seven stages of grief, it is less about loss than about life’s trade-offs."

"As a story it covers limited territory, but in its detail it is vivid and, in Kirk Jameson’s sometimes overstated production, thoughtful, engaging and superbly performed."

Mark Fisher, The Guardian
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The Telegraph

"Will Young’s long, wry goodbye is a heartbreaker"

"The pop star's personal loss gives his brave performance in Simon Stephens’s monologue added emotional heft"

"It represents no small feat of memory and exposing challenge; but in contrast to its Ivo van Hove-directed UK premiere at the Young Vic in 2015, there’s no nudity. In subject-matter, however, it couldn’t be closer to home."

"What lends the 80-minute affair the necessary emotional heft is, firstly, the understated spectacle of solitary vulnerability."

"Most affectingly, there’s the title-teased song itself. His bleached hair lent a celestial sheen by the lights, Young finally lets his angelic voice take wing, with a brief heartbreaker..."

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
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Manchester Evening News

"Will Young plays the music of grief in Song From Far Away revival"

"Will Young impresses Manchester audiences with his first live theatre role in a decade"

'In this central and only role, Young cuts a distinctive figure - think knackered Andy Warhol meets fading Gen X Iconoclast – but the best actors are those who become near-unrecognisable whilst bringing a degree of familiarity to the stage, and in this first theatre role in over a decade, Young takes on a heavy load."

"Song from Far Away is supported by exceptional staging and Kirk Jameson’s creative direction. The shifting cinematic ceiling lowers and rises to imitate the simultaneous claustrophobia and expansive loneliness of grief, whilst a glimpse of snowfall in the darkness beyond the penthouse window provides a sublime moment of impressive scale."

'As such, Song From Far Away is perhaps best considered as a sort of ambient musical - one that drifts between dream and waking life, remembrance and reality, much like the plumes of formless smoke that creep out from the corners and out over the audience, carrying this finely tuned atmosphere with it."

Kristofer Thomas, Manchester Evening News
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What's On Stage

"A melodic meditation on loss"

"HOME Manchester hosts a new revival of the monologue"

"He [Will Young] occasionally paces through lines and images without enough pauses to let them fully sink in. And his affected, slightly effete American accent is a little too unrelentingly snooty; we don't see that hardened exterior fracture and crumble as much as it could. But its barbed edge perfectly captures the resentment and bitterness, with flashes of outright anger, that comes from being left behind."

"It's a beautifully composed production about the irony of how a family's loss can yoke them closer together, even while exposing the faultlines that drove them apart."

Matt Barton, What's On Stage
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👤 📅27 February 2023
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📷 Main photo: Will Young in Song From Away. Photo by Chris Payne

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