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  • Writer's pictureLisa in the theatre

REVIEW: Girl from the North Country (UK Tour) [Theatre, Play, Music, Bob Dylan, Glasgow]

Updated: May 13, 2023

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

13 September 2022


Set in Duluth Minnesota 1934, Girl from the North Country is a play with music set in a guesthouse where a number of characters cross paths and hope to survive the harsh winter weather amid the great depression.

The setting is bleak and I swear I could feel the cold coming off the stage.

Each guest, as well as the proprietor and his family, have their challenges, stories and secrets. This is a great scenario for a play!

I have called it 'a play with music' rather than a musical as that's what it is. The Dylan songs don't necessarily progress the plot but rather are meant to portray an emotion or sometimes just be what is playing in the background on the radio. I will be honest, this didn't work for me.

There is also a lot going on. There are a lot of characters and by the end I couldn't tell you what happened to some of them or what the point actually was. It was overwhelmingly miserable and I have never left a theatre so indifferent.

I'm sorry! I hate to be anything but positive but we can't all love everything. I expected to love this and I didn't.

That is not to take anything away from the cast or the production.

The ensemble cast are magnificent. It actually reminded me of Come from Away in a sense that this is a cast of older, talented individuals, each with a story intertwining with the others, and with no one thread really taking centre stage. But unlike Come from away, I didn't get along with this story. The cast did the best they could, but the book just wasn't for me.

The production is slick and the musical numbers are gorgeous. Each musical break was a highlight - all beautifully performed. The version of 'Forever Young' was spine tingling.

This production has a ton of 4 and 5 star reviews so I am obviously in a minority.

I won't be rushing to see it again but I hope you enjoy it if you do have a ticket! There really is much to admire. But take a jumper and have a hot chocolate, and just maybe you won't leave feeling as cold as I did.

[Review first posted on Instagram 16 September 2022]

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