Review of 'Dear Evan Hansen'


An amazing American musical featuring a young man Evan Hansen (played by an incredibly gifted, and very convincing, Sam Tutty) who suffers from social anxiety. As part of the treatment his confused, busy, but well meaning, mother (Rebecca McKinnis) he is encouraged to write himself letters talking about his feelings. Having printed one of these letters for his therapist in which he expresses feelings for Zoe Murphy (a wonderfully voiced Lucy Anderson) it is grabbed off the printer by her brother and drug addict Connor (Doug Calling) who, furious, leaves with the letter. A few days later Evan is taken from his class to learn from Connor's mother Cynthia (Lauren Ward) and father Larry (Mark Peachey) that Connor has committed suicide but they found the letter in his clothing, assuming that Connor wrote it to Evan. The awkward Evan, sensing the need that Connor's parents have in coming to terms with their loss, plays along with this, becoming their comforter. Evan enlists the help of his friend/not-friend Jared (Jack Loxton) to fake a series of emails between Connor and Evan that he presents to the family. With the urging of another school misfit Alana (Iona Fraser) Evan co-founds “The Connor Project” which aims to help others who feel lost or ignored in society, and seeking funding for a commemorative orchard. As the deception deepens, Evan goes to more and more extreme lengths to keep his secret as his awkward school speech, “You Will Be Found” (the signature show tune), goes viral on social media…

An incredibly, modern story about those who feel misplaced and misunderstood with a first act that left most in the audience with tears in their eyes. After a brief interval, the second act ties up the story nicely with a slightly melancholy finale. The staging is quite simply with only a few set pieces, such as Evan's bed, whisked on and off the stage as required, and large video displays suspending at various points over the stage. It is nice also to see the small orchestra on a platform above the left side of the stage at all times instead of being tucked away in some hole in the ground.

The music is amazing with some really catchy and very emotional numbers that you will hum for days after the show. It is sort of an easy-going style of music typical to modern musicals, eschewing big and loud music for more considered pieces. We had heard the amazing “You Will Be Found” before the show and it is just dripping with sentiment in the powerful lyrics but others like “If I Could Tell Her” and “Disappear” equally heart felt. All of these are delivered with an exuberant intensity by the cast with amazing choreography that can not help but get your feet tapping. Speaking of the cast, they are all absolutely amazing. Tutty manages to utterly convince as Evan with his nervous mannerisms and stuttering of speech to the point that it shocks when at the curtain call he talks to the audience about their charity in his native English accent. When singing, it looks effortless yet extremely powerfully and, importantly, clearly projected to fill the space of the theatre. The supporting cast do an equally impressive job with their pieces particularly Lucy Anderson as Zoe who, despite the rather high rang of her part, never resorts to falsetto (thankfully) though the same cannot be said for Lauren Ward who plays her mother.

A moving story of teenage suicide and feelings of inadequacy despite living in the hyper-connected modern world. Am amazing and emotional story, well worth seeing.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-12-14

Noël Coward Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: 85-88 St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4AP ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Leicester Square

Telephone: +44 (0) 344 482 5151


Small theatre, just up the street from the Coliseum, behind the Wyndham's and just around the corner from Leicester Square. There is a small ticket kiosk on the ground floor as well as toilets and another kiosk selling souvenirs. Entry to the circle seating is at street level with the stalls in the basement and accessed via a staircase.