Reviews: What Do Critics Think of Live Aid–Inspired Musical Just for One Day? | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Do Critics Think of Live Aid–Inspired Musical Just for One Day?

The London musical features songs by David Bowie, The Who, Queen, The Police, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, and more.

Freddie Love Manuel Harlan

The reviews are rolling in for the world premiere of Just For One Day, a new musical written by John O’Farrell (Mrs. Doubtfire, Something Rotten!) and directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, The Little Big Things). The work officially opened at London's The Old Vic February 13 after beginning previews January 26. It is set to run through March 30.

Featuring the songs of Bob Dylan, David Bowie, The Who, U2, Queen, The Police, Elton John, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, The Cars, Status Quo, Paul Weller, Sade, The Boomtown Rats, Bryan Adams, Diana Ross, Ultravox, and more, Just For One Day tells the story of Live Aid, when 70 artists performed, for free, in front of an audience of 1.5 billion in a "global jukebox" at Wembley Stadium, London, and John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, to raise $127 million for famine relief.

Cast members include Julie Atherton, Ashley Campbell, Jackie Clune, Craige Els, James Hameed, Naomi Katiyo, Hope Kenna, Freddie Love, Emily Ooi, Rhys Wilkinson, Jason Battersby, Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong, Olly Dobson, Joe Edgar, Kerry Enright, Jo Foster, Collette Guitart, Eddie Mann, AJ Lewis, Joel Montague, Rachel Moran, Abiona Omonua, Jack Shalloo, Danielle Steers, Tamara Tare, and Dyd Wynford.

Read the reviews here.

Attitude (Simon Button)

BroadwayWorld (Aliya Al-Hassan)

City A.M. (Adam Bloodworth)

The Financial Times (Sarah Hemming)*

The Guardian (Arifa Akbar)

i News (Fiona Mountford)

The Independent (Alice Saville)

London Theatre (Marianka Swain)

The New Statesman (Rachel Cooke)

The Standard (Farah Najib)

The Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish)

The Times (Clive Davis)*

Variety (David Benedict)

WhatsOnStage (Alex Wood)

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

The creative team, in addition to O'Farrell and Sheppard, includes music supervisor, arranger, and orchestrator Matthew Brind, choreographer Ebony Molina, set designer Soutra Gilmour, costume designer Fay Fullerton, lighting designer Howard Hudson, sound designer Gareth Owen, video and animation designer Andrzej Goulding, and casting director Stuart Burt.

A portion of the sale of every ticket will be donated to The Band Aid Charitable Trust to support its ongoing global relief efforts. Additionally, The Old Vic will work with 79 different school and community groups to offer free tickets and workshops through its education and community programs.


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