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Come From Away
Come From Away

Come From Away

The powerful true story about the kindness of strangers amidst tragedy.

About Come From Away

Welcome to the Rock! The heart-warming musical Come From Away, based on an astonishing true story, invites you into the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, where you’ll find the very best of humanity in the worst of times.

Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s Tony and Olivier Award-winning Come From Away musical takes us back to 9/11, when 38 planes were grounded in Newfoundland following the terrorist attack on America.

That meant a sudden influx of 7,000 international visitors, who were taken in and cared for by the kindly locals. Eternal bonds were formed in these extraordinary circumstances, from the friendship between two mothers of firefighters to a transatlantic romance.

The Come From Away London production began its popular run in 2019, and is due to finish in January 2023, so, “Stop the World” and visit with the fine folks of Gander, and you too can become an Islander.

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Tell Me More

All of the amazing characters in Come From Away are based on real people. Irene Sankoff and David Hein interviewed many of those involved during a visit to Gander on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and some of their actual words are used in the show’s book and lyrics.

Those inspiring figures include the trailblazing pilot Beverley Bass, the first ever female captain of an American Airlines commercial plane, and who later captained the first all-female crew in commercial jet aviation history. She gives us that crucial pilot’s perspective on the tragedy, and expresses her feelings in breakout hit “Me and the Sky”.

Other larger-than-life characters include the heroic mayor of Gander, Claude, one of several Newfoundland mayors represented in the show, as well as SPCA worker Bonnie. The latter battles bureaucracy in order to care for all of the animals stranded on the planes – including a rare bonobo chimp.

Come From Away is directed by Christopher Ashley, the artistic director of California’s La Jolla Playhouse. His other work includes the Broadway musicals Memphis, Xanadu and Diana, and the Kennedy Center productions of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along.

What to Watch For:

  • Come From Away was originally planned as a straight play. It was when Irene Sankoff saw the folk band Shanneyganock playing “The Islander” at a Gander commemorative event, and how such music united everyone present, that she realised it had to be a musical.
  • As a way of emphasising the connection between the locals and the plane passengers, and illustrating that we are all part of a greater whole, every member of the Come From Away ensemble plays at least one Gander resident and one visitor. See if you can spot them all!
  • Instead of using lots of busy set designs, choreography and special effects, director Christopher Ashley decided on a minimalist approach – just 12 actors using chairs and tables. That allows the audience to fill in the context themselves and to bring their own personal memories and feelings to the piece.
  • Come From Away is the longest-running Canadian musical in Broadway history, besting the previous record-holder The Drowsy Chaperone. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has praised the show for “bringing us together across borders”. There’s a wealth of specifically Canadian references in there – like the doughnut chain Tim Hortons.
  • Come From Away has also been captured for screen. A filmed version of the Broadway production was released in 2021 and is available to watch on Apple TV+, plus there’s reportedly a feature film adaptation in the works, with Christopher Ashley set to direct.
Start date

January 30th, 2019

End date

January 7th, 2023




Phoenix Theatre


Suitable for ages 10+

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