The first time that I saw Come From Away at the The Phoenix Theatre in London, I could only get a ‘standing room’ seat. It was just as well because I was so inspired by the show that I couldn’t sit still anyway! Also weirdly I think when you’ve been a performer, you are used to standing and watching from the sidelines and waiting to go on that it felt really normal.
For those of you who haven’t seen this musical yet it tells the true story of what happened when 38 planes were ordered out of the sky on September 11th 2001 after the Twin Towers tragedy, and they had to land in the small town of Gander in Newfoundland. That was more than 6, 600 passengers and crew which was the equivalent of 66% of the population at the time who were all forced to stay in Gander for the next six days. The locals gallantly stepped up to the mark and took them into their homes to feed and look after them.
The characters in the musical are based on real Gander residents as well as some of the 7,000 stranded travelers they housed and fed.
It’s an extremely uplifting show that is a timely reminder than even in the darkest of times the capacity for human kindness surpasses that of any act of hate.
September 11th 2001 is one of those dates that everyone remembers where they were at that moment. I was in a studio in Soho recording US voices for cartoon series. The recordings stopped when the enormity of what was happening in New York came to light and we were all sent home.
However later on I had a strange experience related to that terrible day. I wrote an article about it that was was published in Healing Today. Since this is the twentieth anniversary of that awful day, I'd like to share it with you.