Theatre / Feature

Come From Away – The Remarkable True Story

Broadway sensation Come from Away heads to the Comedy Theatre in July 2019. A powerful new musical based on real people and real events.

The Broadway musical Come from Away heads to the Comedy Theatre in July 2019. A Best Musical winner from all across North America, this powerful new musical is based on real people and real events.

Come from Away will head to the soon-to-be refurbished Comedy Theatre in July 2019, based on the true story of thousands of passengers diverted to the isolated community of Gander, Newfoundland in Canada on September 11, 2001. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. It’s a story of comradery and the capacity for human kindness, even in the hardest of times. Come from Away ‘takes you to a place where you didn’t know you wanted to go, and makes you not want to leave.’ (Newsweek, 2017).

A Remarkable True Story

On 9/11 when New York and Washington D.C were attacked by terrorists, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) closed American airspace for the first time in U.S. history grounding around 4,000 flights to land at the nearest airport. 38 of those planes were diverted to the small town called Gander, Newfoundland in Canada; the furthest northeastern point on North America.

Once labelled the “Crossroads of the World”, the town of Gander was an international air hub prior to the jet age used as a refuelling site for transatlantic flights. What started as an average day in a small town of 9,000 residents turned into an international sleep-over lasting six days, as 6,500 stranded passengers almost doubled the town’s population.

A 9/12 Story

While this might not seem like the most obvious premise for a musical, writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein saw an important story about everyday people in extraordinary circumstances and felt it needed to be told. Sankoff and Hein visited Gander on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, interviewing the people of the town and the ‘plane people’ known as the ‘Come From Aways’. The characters are all based on real people and stories.

Beverly Bass

Beverley Bass is a trailblazing pilot who made history as the first female American captain in history. Bass has seen the musical more than a hundred times and commends the show for telling an important story that many people don’t know.

Nick and Diane Marson

Nick and Diane were on the same flight that was grounded in Gander. Nick was on a business trip heading for Texas and Diane was returning home to Texas after a holiday in England. They fell in love in those six days, getting married a year later with a honeymoon in Newfoundland.

Claude Elliot

Claude was the mayor of Gander during the events of September 2001 and served from 1996-2017. He marks those memories as the most significant from his time as mayor and wants the story to be told as ‘it does change people, and people look at the world differently’ (CBC News, 2017).

Kevin Teurff

Kevin’s experience as a ‘plane person’ in Gander, and the kindness he was shown inspired him to set up “pay it forward”, where on the anniversary of 9/11 he gave each of his employees $100 to spend on a random acts of kindness which has since turned into a movement. Teurff also wrote a book based on his experience titled, ‘Channel of Peace’ to inspire others.

 

These stories and many others make up this powerful new musical. Come from Away opens in Melbourne in July 2019 on the back of winning multiple awards across North America and playing to standing-room-only audiences night after night on Broadway and Toronto. The North American tour opens in October 2018 and London in February 2019.

This show is an experience not to be missed. Head to comefromaway.com.au to sign up to the waitlist and make sure you’re first to know when tickets go on sale.

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