Alyn Hawke talks about Come from Away, coming to WMC

March 27, 2024 by

Alyn Hawke is resident dierctor of Come from Away which is at Wales Millennium Centre from  April 2-6, 2024. Alyn is from Bridgend.


Can you say how you came to be involved in the show and a little about your career background?

Alyn Hawke: I’ve been involved in performing since I was young. I was involved in various youth theatre, dance and amateur dramatic societies around South Wales. Following graduating from Musical Theatre college in London in 2010 I have been working professionally in the West End and touring, both nationally and internationally.

The majority of my career has involved understudying multiple roles in the same show, so being asked to be a stand-by in Come From Away was in many ways a dream job. I get to learn 4 different characters in the show, as well as look after the integrity of the show as it’s Resident Director.

What do you think audience members will get out of the show?

Alyn Hawke: Come From Away is a simple but powerful story about real people. It’s rare that you get to see a musical with original music that isn’t based on a famous person or their work. At its heart, it is a show about how ordinary people can make a huge impact on the lives of others. It is fast paced and the music is so infectious, you can’t help but bob along in your seats.

It is based on a tricky subject – are there any need for trigger warnings or is this all an upbeat show?

Alyn Hawke: A common misconception people make about the show is that it’s “The 9/11 Musical”. The show is set at the time of those events, but it is about how people came together during a time of great tragedy to protect and care for others. The show does deal with sensitive, emotional subjects, but it is, as a whole, a feel good show with a powerful message.

How would you say the subject works as a musical – does it, in your opinion, add to the story itself?

Alyn Hawke: A remarkable amount of the material of the show is taken from interviews with people who were diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11, as well as the local population who had to harbour these passengers. The music in the show is also heavily influenced by local bands and artists, so the show has such an individual identity. There really isn’t another show like it! It tackles a difficult subject in a positive way and leaves you with an overall sense of hope and community.


Do you think this is a subject audiences of all audiences ie young will know enough about the events of 9/11?

Alyn Hawke: Even though the events of 9/11 resonate more strongly with North American people, the repercussions were felt globally. I also think, even if you are too young to remember where you were when that news broke, the subjects in the show are still so relevant today. The show addresses prejudice, race, religion, community, diversity, as well as so many other topics. But, at it’s core, it’s a show about how people are innately good and how leading with altruistic kindness should be the norm.

 Is this entertainment or a didactic show?

Alyn Hawke: I don’t believe the show is didactic. It isn’t a lecture, nor does it expect audiences to leave the theatre with completely transformed personality. It’s difficult not to connect with the characters and their stories, because they are real people. If audiences do leave the theatre feeling more positive and warm, wanting to pay kindness forward, then that’s a bonus. Overall, it’s an entertaining show with a huge heart and amazing music.

Are you aware of seeing audience reaction with performances so far?

Alyn Hawke: Our audiences so far have been amazing. The show has been long awaited since its closure in London and the feedback has been fantastic. We have felt so lucky to be telling these stories to new audiences around the country.



Come from Away will be playing at Wales Millennium Centre from 2 – 6 April 2024

The cast includes Amanda Henderson, (BBC’s Casualty, Oliver!) playing the roles of Beulah and others, and Jamal Zulfiqar (Welsh National Opera’s Migrations, Wales Millennium Centre’s Tiger Bay) will be playing the roles of Kevin J, Ali & others.

Come From Away shares the real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives.

Winner of Best New Musical across the globe, the international hit musical Come From Away has celebrated record-breaking engagements in the West End, on Broadway, in Canada, throughout Australia, and on a 60-city North American Tour.

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