From rising star Eliza Doolittle and rock legend Rod Stewart to comedian and musical writer Jennifer Saunders and Olympic swimming star Mark Foster, an audience of celebrities was Falling Slowly in love with hit musical Once last night.
The glittering gala was a triple celebration, marking former Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill’s debut in the London production, the show’s first birthday at the Phoenix Theatre, and, most importantly for a show set in an Irish pub, St Patrick’s Day.
Far from just using it as an excuse to let the Guinness flow freely, though we’re sure that happened too, the event had a more altruistic purpose; all proceeds from ticket sales to the gala were donated to Oxfam’s Mother Appeal.
Nominated for six Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for leading lady Zrinka Cvitešić, Once tells the story of an Irish busker ready to give up on his musical ambitions and the young Czech mother whose chance meeting reinvigorates his passion. The bittersweet and original love story features the music of Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová, the stars of the film on which the musical is based.
Photographer Dan Wooller was at the Phoenix to snap the stars, both of the show and in the audience.