Hit musical Once is in York this week – here’s what the stars had to say

Once is headed to the Grand Opera House! Featuring Emma Lucia as Girl and Daniel Healy as Guy. Photo: Mark Senior
3 Feb 2020 @ 2.16 pm
| Entertainment

Daniel Healy and Emma Lucia are playing the lead roles together in Once The Musical – not once, but twice.

Having first done so in the regional premiere in autumn 2018, the duo are reunited for the first British tour which plays the Grand Opera House from February 3 to 8.

The multi-award winning musical was first a cult, micro-budget film written and directed by John Carney in 2007, and then a Broadway, West End and Dublin show with very successful runs.

It tells the story of a Dublin street busker and a Czech musician who meet unexpectedly and fall in love across five days.

The touring cast of 16 will be led by Daniel Healy, from Scotland, as Guy and Emma Lucia, from Durham, as Girl. Here’s what the stars had to say…

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‘I toured with Ronan Keating’

What is your relationship with Once the Musical?
Emma: I saw Daniel in Once in the London production. I was still at Mountview drama school, and doing Beautiful, the Carole King musical, on tour at the time. Then I heard there was going to be a production of Once in Ipswich, and I know the musical director, Ben Goddard, from doing a couple of classes led by him at Mountview.
Daniel: My first run-in with the show was when I was doing a show in LA called Backbeat and I had an audition for the Broadway version of Once but couldn’t do it because of various reasons. But then I understudied the lead and played one of the main characters, Eamon in the London production, when I understudied Ronan Keating.

What was it like working with Ronan Keating?
Daniel: After he heard one of my songs, Ronan said, ‘I’d really like to write with you’, so I ended up writing six songs with him and touring with him in his band.

What was it like meeting for the first time in rehearsals?
Emma: Peter and Ben (the production’s director and musical director) auditioned us separately and they must have felt we would have chemistry once we were put together. We get on really well.

How did you perfect the accents?
Emma: I’d only met one person from the Czech Republic in my life, and briefly at that, so I contacted the Czech Embassy and they put me in touch with two Czech girls who were here for six months and loved the show! We met for a cup of coffee and talked about the show, and I recorded their voices and asked any questions that I felt I needed answering.
Daniel: I think, without being big-headed, I’ve got an ear for accents. I’d ask Irish friends too, and it’s all about not being afraid to ask. Though being Scottish doesn’t make it easier to learn because, when accents are close to each other, like these two, they’re actually more difficult to separate…but I’ve managed to fool a few people with my Irish accent, thinking I really must be from Dublin!

Did you get into musical theatre and playing instruments at an early age?
Emma: I picked up on playing the piano at five years old. I’ve always loved theatre. My dad used to do a lot of am-dram and I knew it was something in my life I always wanted to do.
Daniel: My dad’s a guitarist, and I did musical theatre from the age of five, and TV dramas and films too.

Do you have any connection to your characters?
Emma: She sees it as her mission to help other people, and I empathise with that as I love to do that myself.
Daniel: I could never call myself a busker, but I have busked in the past, but I sympathise more with Guy’s struggle with not having the courage to follow through with his dreams when you hope you can make it as a singer-songwriter.

Once the Musical is at the Grand Opera House from Monday February 3 to Saturday February 8. Buy your tickets from the Box office at 0844 871 3024 or from their website.

For our full event listings for the Grand Opera House please visit here.