Dear Evan Hansen at Noel Coward Theatre
There has been a huge amount of hype for Dear Evan Hansen and I was excited to finally find out if it was worth all the fuss. Dear Evan Hansen is a Broadway transfer which focuses on 17 year old Evan. Evan is struggling to fit in and make friends at school however thanks to a letter he writes to himself he finds himself at the centre of a fabricated friendship with fellow student Connor who took his own life. Evan is left to battle with the decision of telling the truth or letting Connor’s parents believe the lie but take comfort from it. It is a show that strives to show that nobody is alone, a message that many take comfort from.
The story itself is beautifully and tenderly told. It seems that the entire audience can relate to it somehow, from the teenagers struggling with their confidence like Evan, to children feeling invisible to their parents like Zoe to parents desperate to do their best but worried that their best simply isn’t enough like Heidi. The show takes all of these stories without judgement but instead makes everyone feel that someone out there relates to them. This is subtly done but culminates in the act 1 finale with ‘You Will Be Found,’ when the simplicity of the message combined with beautiful harmonies moves the whole audience.
The success of Dear Evan Hansen relies upon being able to relate to those on stage and the cast manage this wonderfully. Taking the title role is Sam Tutty in his West End debut. Sam is wonderful as Evan and manages to portray Evan’s difficulties without having to revert to stereotypes. Evan and Connor’s mums also play a vital role in this musical. They are played by Rebecca McKinnis and Lauren Ward. They both ensured that the audience not only understood the teen perspective but also the anguish that the mums were feeling. Rupert Young took on the role of Larry Murphy, Connor’s father and it was the moment when he finally broke down that really broke me.
The visual side of the show is dominated by the incredible projections, designed by Peter Nigrini. These made the show feel even more relevant with social media often literally surrounding Evan’s every move.
Dear Evan Hansen is a musical with a tender story which is executed perfectly from a cast that really understand the show to the technical team which really helps the audience immerse themselves in Evan’s story.
Dear Evan Hansen is currently booking until 30th May 2020. For more information and to book tickets visit their website.