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Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić to Lead West End Cast of Once; Complete Casting Announced

Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić to Lead West End Cast of Once; Complete Casting Announced
Declan Bennett & Zrinka Cvitesic

The West End production of Once has found its Guy and Girl. Broadway alum Declan Bennett and Croatian actress Zrinka Cvitešić are set to play the romantic leading man and lady in the upcoming London mounting of the Tony-winning musical. The show is set to begin previews on March 16 and  open at the Phoenix Theatre on April 9.

In addition to Bennett and Cvitešić, the cast of John Tiffany’s West End production will include Valda Aviks, Ryan Fletcher, Aidan Kelly, Gareth O’Connor, Michael O’Connor, Miria Parvin, Jos Slovick, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Jez Unwin and Gabriel Vick. Alternating the role of Girl’s young daughter Ivanka will be Poppy-Lily Baker, Mia-Jai Bryan, Pacha Anna Green and Nancy Ann Jeans.

Set in Dublin, Once is the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant who are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful and complicated love story. The show is based on the film of the same name and features a book by Enda Walsh, with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. The show won eight Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Musical.

Bennett joins Once after appearing in a number of Broadway and West End productions, including Rent, American Idiot, Taboo and It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow. He’s also known to music fans as a member of the band Point Break.

Cvitešić has been a member of the Croatian National Theatre since 2005, performing in shows like Romeo and Juliet, Three Sisters, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and What Is a Man Without a Moustache?. She also won the Croatian version of Dancing with the Stars in 2010.

Before heading to the Phoenix, the West End staging of Once will run at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre from February 22 through March 9.

Watch clips from the Broadway production of Once below!

Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić will star in the West End run of 'Once.'

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