Everything you need to know about ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ in London
The smash-hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen is at London’s Noel Coward Theatre. Dear Evan Hansen is from the writers of La La Land and The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The musical has become a cult hit, with recordings of the show's songs being released by the likes of Katy Perry and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Dear Evan Hansen follows Evan Hansen, an anxious teenager who is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: to fit in.
Here’s our complete guide to the West End production of Dear Evan Hansen, with Dear Evan Hansen tickets available on LondonTheatre.co.uk.
What is Dear Evan Hansen about?
Evan Hansen has never fit in. He's always the outsider, never invited in to social circles or conversations. His therapist has encouraged him to write letters that focus on the positives. When Evan Hansen writes certain conversations between himself and Connor Murphy, he's blissfully unaware of just how much his life will change. Inspiring his local community and in turn a virtual world, Evan is finally at the centre of attention.
Leading The Connor Project is one thing, but Evan's keeping a deep, dark secret. Can he let go of his lies and step into the light? Dear Evan Hansen is a musical where the inner self is more important than what anyone can see. It's about discovering the person we all long to be, where being unequivocally yourself is the most important thing of all.
When did Dear Evan Hansen premiere?
The world premiere of Dear Evan Hansen was at the Arena Stage in Washington D.C. The musical played a limited engagement of six weeks, from 10 July - 23 Aug. 2015, attracting nationwide attention. As a result, Dear Evan Hansen transferred to Second Stage Theater, with off-Broadway performances from 26 Mar - 29 May 2016. By this time, thousands of theatregoers were desperate to discover Evan Hansen’s story, so a Broadway transfer was imminent.
Dear Evan Hansen began performances at the Music Box Theatre on 14 Nov. 2016, ahead of an official premiere on 4 Dec. 2016. To date, the Broadway production has ran continuously at the Music Box Theatre.
The European premiere and West End premiere of Dear Evan Hansen opened in 2019. Performances began at the Noel Coward Theatre on 29 Oct. 2019, ahead of an opening night on 19 Nov. 2019.
Who wrote Dear Evan Hansen?
The Dear Evan Hansen book is by Steven Levenson, making his Broadway debut with the production. Prior to the musical, he’d written episodes of Masters of Sex, which starred the Tony Award-winning actress Annaleigh Ashford. He's also since served as writer and executive producer on FX's Fosse/Verdon. Levenson has also written numerous plays that have premiered off Broadway, including If I Forget and Days Of Rage.
Who wrote the songs in Dear Evan Hansen?
Music and lyrics in Dear Evan Hansen are by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Together, their composing credits include La La Land and The Greatest Showman, as well as Dogfight which played at Southwark Playhouse in 2014.
In an interview with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for LondonTheatre.co.uk, the writing team said about their musical: “I think there’s no greater gift to receive as a writer than to know that something you have written has resonated with someone who maybe feels like your friend and maybe feels like they haven’t been represented before. Now there is someone like them on stage. We owe that as much to the cast because they are so authentic and so real in their portrayals of these characters. I think everyone can relate to them because they are so true to life."
Who is in the cast of Dear Evan Hansen?
Rebecca McKinnis plays Heidi Hansen, previously taking on the role of Margaret New in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre. Lauren Ward plays Cynthia Murphy, whose West End credits include Matilda the Musical and The Sound of Music. Rupert Young plays Larry Murphy, last in Twelfth Night at the Young Vic.
Casting is completed by Jack Loxton as Jared Kleinman, Nicole Raquel Dennis as Alana Beck, Marcus Harman as alternate Evan Hansen, David Breeds, Haydn Cox, Natalie Kassanga, Hannah Lindsey, Mark Peachey, Courtney Stapleton, Alex Thomas-Smith, and James Winter.
What theatre in London is Dear Evan Hansen playing at?
Dear Evan Hansen is playing at the Noel Coward Theatre. Since Dear Evan Hansen opened, the theatre housed the West End premiere of The Comeback in December 2020. But, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, The Comeback was forced to close prematurely. Previous shows at the Noel Coward Theatre include The Inheritance and Quiz.
What is the running time of Dear Evan Hansen?
Dear Evan Hansen has a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute interval.
What are the songs in Dear Evan Hansen?
Songs in Dear Evan Hansen have gained commercial popularity, thanks to pop covers. Katy Perry has given a rendition of “Waving Through A Window” as well as Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda collaborating on a Dear Evan Hansen/Hamilton mashup called “Found/Tonight.” Here are all the songs in Dear Evan Hansen.
"Anybody Have a Map?" – Heidi, Cynthia
"Waving Through a Window" – Evan
"For Forever" – Evan
"Sincerely, Me" – Connor, Evan, Jared
"Requiem" – Zoe, Cynthia, Larry
"If I Could Tell Her" – Evan, Zoe
"Disappear" – Connor, Evan, Alana, Jared, Larry, Cynthia, Zoe
"You Will Be Found" – Evan, Alana, Jared, Zoe, Company, Virtual Community
"To Break In a Glove" – Larry, Evan
"Only Us" – Zoe, Evan
"Good for You" – Heidi, Alana, Jared, Evan
"Words Fail" – Evan
"So Big / So Small" – Heidi
"Finale" – Evan, Company
What are the reviews of Dear Evan Hansen?
In a review for LondonTheatre.co.uk, Mark Shenton wrote: “It's not just a musical for the social media age but also puts its alternately productive and pernicious effects on full display. As such, it could not be more welcome.” The power that Dear Evan Hansen has to encourage social change was picked up on by The Hollywood Reporter too, with David Rooney saying “"What's perhaps most distinctive about the melodic emo-pop score for Dear Evan Hansen is how beautifully it captures the peaks and valleys of adolescence, in the thoughtful lyrics and in the music itself."
The Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack has earned a legion of fans too. For Time Out, Adam Feldman said: "Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s score, orchestrated by Alex Lacamoire, brims with tuneful and thoughtful songs that sound, as few Broadway songs do, like they could be on the radio tomorrow; Evan’s first number, “Waving Through a Window,” is an instant classic." Could this musical define a generation? Michael Billington seems to think so, reviewing for The Guardian that Dear Evan Hansen “captures the agonies of youth, allows the songs to grow out of the action... I admired the show without lapsing into unqualified rapture.”
What awards has Dear Evan Hansen won?
Considered to be one of the greatest musicals of the century, Dear Evan Hansen has won dozens of awards through its numerous productions. Here’s a list of all the major awards that Dear Evan Hansen has won.
Best New Musical
Best Actor in a Musical - Sam Tutty
Best Original Score or New Orchestrations - Alex Lacamoire, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Best Book of a Musical - Steven Levenson
Best Original Score - Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical - Ben Platt
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical - Rachel Bay Jones
Best Orchestrations - Alex Lacamoire
Is there a movie adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen?
As reported on New York Theatre Guide, a film version of Dear Evan Hansen will be released on 24 Sept. 2021. Casting includes Ben Platt who reprises his Tony Award-winning performance as Evan Hansen. There’s a star cast to boot including Julianne Moore as Heidi Hansen, Kaitlyn Dever as Zoe Murphy, Amy Adams as Cynthia Murphy, and Danny Pino as Larry Murphy. We can’t wait to see the Dear Evan Hansen movie when it arrives in cinemas.
How do I get tickets for Dear Evan Hansen in London?
Dear Evan Hansen tickets are on sale now.
Photo credit: Dear Evan Hansen cast (Photo by Matthew Murphy)