Fresh from Broadway, Dear Evan Hansen has captivated the first of its London audiences with a story pertinent to our daily lives and relationships.
The new musical- which premiered in December 2016- follows the struggles of a teenager with social anxiety who, torn between the advice of his protective mum and finding his own place in the world, becomes tangled in a web of white lies.
Sam Tutty gives a spectacular performance as Evan Hansen, acing every twitch, note and stutter in this fascinating, but very complex role.
Vocal excellence is particularly shown from Tutty in Words Fail, the number in which Evan reflects on the damage caused by his untruthfulness.
Evan’s mum, Heidi, is played by Rebecca Mckinnis whose extraordinary transition from reserved single mum, to free-spirited woman is led by her strengthening vocals showcased in Good for You and So Big/So Small.
Lucy Anderson, Lauren Ward, and Rupert Young- who perform the roles of the late Connor Murphy’s family- must also be praised for their impressive grasp of the characters.
Anderson, playing the conflicting role of Connor’s sister and Evan’s love interest, masters Zoe’s unpredictable liberation in the wake of her brother’s death.
And performing one of the most poignant numbers in the show, the trio expose the show’s multiple messages in Requiem, when tasteful harmonies combine with powerful lyrics to challenge stereotypical ways of dealing with grief.
Dear Evan Hansen takes an honest and emancipating look at contemporary issues not yet explored so directly in theatre.