THE Barn Theatre in Cirencester was full of high energy, confident musicians and colourful lights at the press night of Once the musical.

Director Dominic Shaw's wish to turn the 200 seater Cotswold theatre into a concert stadium surpassed all expectations. 

The lively ballads, impressive ensemble and dramatic lighting transported the audience away from Cirencester into an urban world of music and colourful characters. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: David Shute and Amy BastaniDavid Shute and Amy Bastani (Image: Alex Tabrizi)

This modern-day musical follows the story of an Irish aspiring musician (Guy) and Czech immigrant (Girl) and their whirlwind week of music, discovery and healing in Dublin.

Guy spends his days fixing vacuums and his nights singing at local pubs and is on the verge of giving up music altogether when Girl enters his life in a chance encounter. 

Over the period of five days they write, rehearse and scrape together enough money to record a demo album with a motley crew of bar friends, in a collaboration that evolves into a powerful and complicated love story. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Sarah Moss and Tomas WolstenholmeSarah Moss and Tomas Wolstenholme (Image: Alex Tabrizi)

Leading man Tomas Wolstenholme perfectly portrayed the starving musician, helped by his memorising voice and rugged attire.

Sarah Moss as leading lady bounced off Tomas' hopeless romantic character and provided the audience with plenty of witty one liners.

She equally impressed the crowd with her stunning vocals and impressive piano playing. 

In addition, the rest of the cast including Theo Diedrick (who played Eamon) and Amy Bastain (who played Reza) wowed the audience with their Pandora's box of talents including the violin, drums and dance.

The whole cast's unwavering high energy throughout the production helped execute Shaw's party vision.

Once is a story of two bruised hearts in a city of poets and this adaptation perfectly encapsulated the excitement and fear that whirlwind relationships often attain. 

This energetic staging of Once will run at the Barn Theatre from Monday, July 3 until Saturday, August 12.

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