7 Jun 2013

Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić Interview: Once the Musical

Based on the Academy Award winning film of the same name, Once The Musical has taken Broadway, Dublin and the West End by storm. This stirring new musical is based on a real life love story and retains much of the highly celebrated and moving score by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Having picked up an astounding 8 Tony Awards in the show’s opening year on Broadway, Once now graces the West End with it’s presence.

The story of Once is set in Dublin and centres on “Guy,” a struggling musician stroke “Hoover fixer sucker guy,” and “Girl,” a ballsy single mother from The Czech Republic. The pair bond over a mutual love of music and their similarly broken hearts. I was lucky enough to catch up with Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić who play Guy and Girl in the West End production of Once The Musical. I chatted to the pair about life in one of the most anticipated new shows of 2013 and their lives as performers outside of the show. There is also an Official Theatre exclusive as the pair are the first ever to take on a double lightening round challenge! If you can’t contain your excitement then head straight to the bottom of the page now!

Declan and Zrinka Discuss Once

In the first video Declan and Zrinka discuss their feeling towards the music and script of Once, as well as their thoughts on what makes it stand out as a musical. The onstage couple also chat about the likelihood of them making an “album” together (an innuendo for sex in the show!) Cheeky!

Five things you might not have known about Declan, Zrinka and Once!

  1. Zrinka was already famous in in the Czech Republic and Croatia. She has appeared in a number of films and won the Croatian version of Strictly Come Dancing, Ples sa zvijezdama.
  2. Declan is well established in the music industry and already has already released two albums and a number of EPs. Declan started in the music industry under the alias “Someladfromcov”
  3. Declan is planning on releasing a new album in the near future which he says will draw influence from the musical style of Once
  4. Arthur Darvill (Doctor who, Broadchurch, Our Boys) who is now playing the role of “Guy” on Broadway recently came to watch Declan and Zrinka in the West End production.
  5. As you will have heard from the first video, Once were the proud winners of West End Eurovision in 2013! West End Eurovision is a fun tradition where many big West End shows get together to perform Eurovision style songs in a competition. This year Once beat off tough competition from Billy Elliot, Spamalot, Viva Forever, Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line, Rock of Ages and Mamma Mia!

Declan and Zrinka talk about their respective love of music and dancing.

In the second video Zrinka and Declan talk about their fame as performers before they joined the cast of Once. Declan discusses his new album and his planned take over of the Once pre-show gig  and Zrinka tells me what it was like to win the Croatian version of Strictly Come Dancing (twice!)

The Lightning Round!

So, in an Official Theatre exclusive, I managed to get Declan and Zrinka together for a DOUBLE LIGHTNING ROUND challenge! We were all pretty anxious as to what would happen! Would we all make it out alive?! Watch and see!

Once is running at the Phoenix Theatre and is currently booking until May 31st 2014. Once runs Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm with additional matinee performances on Thursday and Saturday afternoons at 3pm.



Rebecca is a cheeky London lady with a love of theatre, cheese and wine (preferably all at the same time!) She graduated from Goldsmiths (University of London) with a First Class Honours degree in Drama and Theatre Arts and later went on to study for an NCTJ postgraduate diploma in Journalism.


As a lifelong fan of Michael Jackson's music and choreography, experiencing


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