- October 07, 2019
It’s safe to say we’re pretty spoiled in Melbourne. From incredible live shows to a new restaurant opening every week.
Sometimes it can be difficult to decide how you will spend your weekend but trust us on this, you need to choose a day to see Come From Away.
Do you remember where you were on 9/11? While the world watched in horror as two planes fly into The World Trade Centre in New York, another into the Pentagon, and a fourth into a field in Pennsylvania, a total of 38 planes carrying 6,579 passengers were diverted to the remote airspace in Newfoundland, near the town of Gander in Canada and this is where the Come From Away musical starts.
For hours these thousands of passengers had no idea why, nor even where they were. Outside the planes was a small town of 10,000 preparing for their home to be practically doubled in population for what turned out to be five whole days.
The locals fed them, clothed them, housed them, and broke the news of the terrorist attacks. In the space of those five days the passengers formed friendships that will last a lifetime.
We spoke to Zoe Gertz who plays Beverley Bass, a pilot on one of the flights to land in Newfoundland and first female captain of an American Airlines aircraft.
“A lot of people don’t know the story when they come to see the show. It was certainly a big surprise to me.
“This story really touched people all around the world.
“As far as a theatrical experience it’s not like any other musical that I have certainly seen or been a part of.”
Everyone in the cast plays multiple roles but it’s the role of Beverly that stands out the most:
“Her story is so different to the passengers. She was really isolated.
“While a lot of the passengers were together, Beverley spent a lot of time in her motel room, keeping the passengers updated on what was going on.”
Zoe’s performance is exquisite and lifts the theatre as she belts out her solo number, ‘Me and the Sky’:
“She [Beverley] spoke to me about how she felt about flying after the event. The way she described it, she never for a second thought, ‘Oh I will never fly again,’ which she felt from a lot of her colleagues who were affected by the event.
“The whole aviation landscape shifted, it had this innocence about it and then September 11 happened and it changed.”
The musical is a collection of testimonies of the people who were in Gander and the strong relationships they formed that helped each other get through the days.
“It’s a true story, as unbelievable as it is, every single word that we utter is straight from transcripts and interviews.
“Everything we do on stage actually happened. It’s a story of kindness and compassion.
“It’s an important story for people to see now, just like around that terrible tragedy, there are people in the world that are so giving.”
It’s hard to believe that while the locals of Newfoundland were helping their unexpected visitors of
Newfoundland feel welcome, one of the darkest moments in history was happening:
“In times of tragedy, as human beings we have this amazing capacity for human kindness and we can turn really awful turn of events into love and empathy and that’s needed in the world right now.”
Enjoy a night of laughs, tears and restoring your faith in humanity. It lives up to and beyond the hype.