“Once” the musical, a heart-breaking and gorgeous production, is best known for Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s rendition of “Falling Slowly”. After winning 8 Tony Awards in 2012 (including Best Musical, Best Actor, and Best Book) and performing all over the world, it is now back in Dublin for another summer. As described on its website, it truly is “a celebration of music, love, and the city that inspired it.”
Through Airbnb’s newly-launched experiences in Dublin, we were very lucky to receive the true VIP treatment in the historical Olympia Theatre.
So what is an experience?
Airbnb have recently launched their experiences, giving guests unique access into places and communities they wouldn’t usually get in a new city. This is exactly what we got and more last night. How often do you spend time with a person who is from the country that you’re visiting? How authentic is your visit?
Imagine being shown around or learning a skill from a local host. In Dublin, you can now learn how to make an Irish stew, paddle-board down the river Liffey, or soak up the sound and story of Dublin’s music Scene.
Our “Once in a lifetime” experience added a new dimension to simply attending a musical. Who could imagine exploring backstage and meeting the crew who ensure that everything runs smoothly? Last night, we met the lovely stage manager Donna Leonard, and saw the screens, microphones, controls, scripts, and everything else that she is in charge of. We also learnt about the large number of musical instruments, as important as the fantastic cast.
The entire cast, in fact, remained on stage for the whole show, playing along to accompany the drama as the scene unfolds.
Whether you walk into the theatre from the main entrance or come from backstage, the experience is very special. Before the show even begins, you will find the cast having a “session” on stage, a different warm up that is great fun. The audience is invited to come on stage, buy a drink from the on-stage bar, and watch the cast up close as they get ready for the show. If you haven’t realised already, this is something unique, since most of the time the stage is a sacred space separated from the audience, a fourth wall.
The icing on the cake is the opportunity to go back on stage and meet the cast after the show, once the audience has left the 140-year-old theatre. This was a lovely and special addition to congratulate them on their outstanding performance.
If you ever have the chance to see this musical, do not even hesitate and grab a ticket. You won’t regret it.