After This Plane Has Landed 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 25, Aug 2023
John McCarthy was a journalist working for the United Press International Television News. He had recently arrived in Beirut when on 17th April 1986 two days after USAF airstrikes on Libya, WTN ordered him to leave. He was being escorted to the airport when a group of gunmen intercepted his car. He was held in captivity until his release on 8 August 1991. During this time his girlfriend, Jill Morrell actively campaigned for his release, launching a group called Friends of John McCarthy.
Pretty heavy stuff for a musical but that is not the case with Adrian Kimberlin’s brilliantly written musical script that tells this couples story of their budding romance, coping with separation as John is taken hostage, Jill’s perseverance as she relentlessly campaigns for his release and then having to deal with the public’s expectations of their relationship when John eventually returns home.
Actors Benedict Powell (John McCarthy) and Claire Russell (Jill Morrell) bring a perfect balance of sensitivity, lighthearted humour and emotion as they act and perform Kinberlin’s beautifully written script and songs.
Kimberlin’s musical arrangements and lyrics deliver a wonderful piece of musical theatre. Powell and Russell have brilliant chemistry together drawing you into this heartfelt story. There was one moment that didn’t really work for me when they went off the storyline at the beginning of the performance, having a debate about musical genres. However, overall this was a compelling piece of musical theatre that I would recommend you go and see.
Reviewed by Lynn
theSpace@Surgeons Hall (Theatre 1)