facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen.

Once goes underground

First Published 17 June 2013, Last Updated 17 June 2013

When you travel on London’s underground, you expect to pass one tuneful busker, maybe even a duet. Not the entire cast of Once!

Yet last Friday, that was exactly the sight and sound that met commuters at Leicester Square tube station, where a 12-strong company from the hit new musical were filling the tiled tunnels and corridors with their upbeat Irish folk sounds.

They weren’t there trying to earn a little extra on the side – they actually donated all money made to the charity Kids Company – but to help mark 10 years of the licensed busking scheme on the Tube, playing alongside a collection of the station’s regular buskers for a couple of hours.

“As a singer-songwriter who has done my fair share of busking in the past, it was especially exciting today to have spent time at Leicester Square Tube with my fellow Once cast mates and some of London Underground’s regular buskers,” said Declan Bennett, the show’s leading man. “My role as the heartbroken busker Guy in Once at the Phoenix theatre is heavily inspired by my experiences before making the leap to become a professional performer. Today was a great way of reconnecting with that time.”

The musical, based on an Oscar-winning film and previously a Tony Award-winning hit on Broadway, tells the story of an Irish busker ready to give up on his dreams before he meets a young Czech mother, who reinvigorates his passion with her shared love of music. When it opened at the Phoenix theatre in April, Official London Theatre’s Charlotte Marshall described it as “arguably the most romantic show in the West End”. It’s also the only show in the West End where you can enjoy a pint at an onstage bar before the performance and during the interval.

You can watch footage of the Once cast busking at the top of the page.

Once is not the only musical that will perform live and for free this coming week end, when many of London’s most popular shows take to the stage in Trafalgar Square as part of West End LIVE. The annual entertainment extravaganza returns, with performances including tasters of new Tim Rice musical From Here To Eternity alongside a host of current hits, on 22 and 23 June.



Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.