The Old Vic is proud to present the World Premiere of Girl From the North Country, an electrifying new work from esteemed playwright Conor McPherson along with classic songs from Bob Dylan.
Duluth, Minnesota in the midst of the Great Depression.
A family adrift, their future on a knife edge. Lost and lonely people drifting through rooms of their guesthouse. But Nick Laine thinks he’s seen a way out…
For more info and Frequently Asked Questions on the show, read our article here.
Girl from the North Country critic reviews
Girl from the North Country reviews
As a 'stand alone' show this was excellent but for a Bob Dylan fan it was a dream! Superbly acted and sung by an incredibly talented cast. A show that everyone should try to see.
.. great period story, great cast, great songs ... wonderful evening's entertainment
Wonderful performances all round, and the re-working of Dylan's material to accompany the story of the dreadful depression era in the USA was just perfect. Best theatre I've seen in ages.
It far exceeded my already high expectations. The cast's acting and singing were first class and their manifest enthusiasm made for an exhilarating and absorbing spectacle. The basic idea was so tantalising, especially for a Dylan fan like myself (since the 60s), and it was great to see and hear the Dylan material used so imaginatively and respectfully. I was hooked from start to finish and was buzzing by the end. Thank you, Mr McPherson, for such creativity and realisation.
Loved it. Good cast with strong voices, and of course good songs. Great to be in a packed and enthusiastic audience. Great to see an almost musical that wasn't loud and glitzy.
Excellent cast and show,. When we first arrived average audience were aged over 50. Saw lots of empty seats and was surprised to later see them filled with schoolkids and teachers. Wasn't sure kids would enjoy dylan music but pleasantly surprised by whoops & cheers as the show went on. Cast very talented and had a lovely warm family feel about them. Will definately recommend show.
Fantastic presentation of some masterful classics. This is honestly up there with my best music experiences (and there have been many in my 60 years +)....great cast and musicianship! Will see it again!!!
This is one of the best plays I have ever seen. I have now seen it twice.Conor McPherson should win every theatre award going. So should the excellent cast and choreographee.
Show recommended by a Bob Dylan fan, and certainly there were some superb musical performances. The story seemed to lack a coherent thread, and was perhaps more of a portrait of despair in post-Depression Minnesota. Go for the music, not the narrative.
It was fabulous - I want to go again but can't find tickets PLEASE put it on again somewhere.
Went because I am a big Bob Dylan fan, the music/muscians were fabulous but the storyline/plot was awful. Conor McPherson has only got a successful play because of the good cast and fab music.
Great reworking of Bob Dylan's songs by the cast. The musical play is set in a lodging house in the Depression in the 1930s in Dylan's birth town. It weaves a story around the owners' and guests' lives and their struggles to survive in the Depression. Highly recommended.
I so much wanted to really love this production but I felt that the underlying story line was weak and with the standout exceptions of Shirley Henderson who played Elizabeth and Sheila Atim who played Marianne most of the characters seemed rather one dimensional and therefore difficult to care much about. The saving grace was the music which was wonderful throughout. For me, Ms Henderson and Ms Atim, as well as having the most complex and interesting roles and being generally magnificent in those roles, provided the musical highlights as well with exciting and moving interpretations of Tight Connection To My Heart, Like a Rolling Stone and Forever Young. There was also a lovely interpretation of one of my favourite Dylan songs, I Want You. Excluding the music I would have rated the production a three star but the music is just so great that I've gone for a four. I wouldn't go and see it again, but I will be downloading the soundtrack.
Really enjoyable with beautiful music.
Loved the music, the characters and the storyline. Impecible acting.
Quite simply the most beautiful and captivating production I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. I was captivated from beginning to end.
What a night - great to be back at the Old Vic! The beauty of the building, of the drama, and of the powerful voices and haunting songs all joined forces to bring tears to my eyes (in a good way)! The score was beautiful and worked into the script with gentle care and aptness...it wasn't so much a musical, but a drama with soul. I was moved by the characters, by the dark mundanity of interwoven lives and emotions. Thank you for something so wonderful.
A wonderful evening of song, dance, music and story. I doubt it will be bettered, a totally enjoyable extravaganza.
Amazing singing. Very moving story and excellent acting. A wonderful evening
I thoroughly enjoyed this play, which combined a moving story from the era of the Great Depression with songs by the icon Bob Dylan. (A warning however- the Dylan songs are virtually all not the ones that "put him on the map.") Many of the characters struggle to deal with the economic hardship of that time, while others have more personal matters to cope with. The acting is uniformly excellent. And everyone in the cast is a first rate singer! A great evening of theater.
I loved every minute! What an outstanding performance, music and set design. I want to see it again and again. Absolutely perfect!
Found all the different story's unraveling very compelling loyalty rather than love being a strong bond . The music overwhelming and giving great depth to well knoŵn songs which could work well in a poignant period of time
An exceptionally good performance - really 'floated away' with the songs.
Excellent performances by all. The use of Bob Dylan material brilliantly incorporated in the story , which was very engaging and moving.
Fab from beginning to end. Clever interpretation of Bob Dylan's music. If you thinking of buying a ticket, do it now!
great music, acting and singing. nostalgic for Bob Dylan songs
We were a mixed age group and everyone loved this original and very moving production. The acting was excellent and the singing and music first class. There were also funny moments amongst the pathos.
Brilliant "team effort" cast. All so talented, both musically and acting-wise.
Great acting,singing and music to the wonderful songs of Bob Dylan.
Wonderful, imaginative production with extremely talented cast. Musically, a revelation.
Absolutely bloody fantastic
Girl from North Country is heartstopping. Beautiful lyrical music, extraordinary singing and pitch perfect acting. The sort of play that comes along very rarely. See it!
Interpretation of Bob Dylan songs was very moving and the voices were fabulous. Loved the band and the way the music was wrapped into the story. A truly enjoyable evening!
This was haunting and beautiful production. The actors were excellent and the Dylan songs gave the story a timeless quality.
If one person in the audience at the end had sobbed the whole place would have gone! Brilliant show from start to finish with every member of the cast superb
Bought tickets for this without my husband knowing much about it. We both loved it especially the Bob Dylan sound track. Fabulous.
Girl from the North Country demonstrates the benefits of starting with some of the most moving music of the 20th century and building a simple story around it. I often leave a musical having enjoyed myself but not remembering a single tune. With Girl from the North Country the quality of the music, the arrangements and the performances stayed vivid long after the curtain had fallen. This has been the best show of the year for me and I think it should have a wide audience.
Just loved every minute. Singing amazing. Would recommend it to anyone. IF you can still get tickets
As a Dylan fan for over 40 years I was intrigued by this play. The cast were well chosen, the production imaginative (also one or two threads did not get tied up), the chose of songs worked really well for this setting. Because Dylan is the master of re-invention the songs have sufficient elasticity to be be taken in different directions. Thoroughly absorbing evening.
What an outstanding piece of original theatre. Fascinating historical backcloth of the American Depression provided a rich texture for intricate plot lines to be woven around several key characters, each slowly reavealing their personal histories and demons. As a stand alone piece of theatre this would have been excellent but then add in the quite unbelievable reinterpretation of Dylan's songs, peppering and seamlessly 'pointing' the plot; songs sung and played with such poignancy and perfection that the evening turned into a theatrical masterpiece. I can't wait to listen to the soundtrack and hopefully see the play again.
One of the best evenings I've ever spent in a theatre. This is a magnificent show on every level. The interpretations of Dylan's songs were superb and it was uncanny how well they fitted with the storyline. The boarding house was a microcosm of post-depression America, a bunch of misfits thrown together on Desolation Row without two bits to rub together but each searching for love and hope. Ciaran Hinds and Shirley Henderson were superb and Shiela Atim's of Close Connection To my Heart is stunning. An unforgettable experience, just fabulous.
Excellent performance, great voices doing justice to Dylan songs. Occasionally slightly baffled by song connection to narrative but nonetheless as a Dylan fan it was hugely enjoyable. You don't need to be a Dylan fan to enjoy it.
There was no depth or strong narrative development and some of the characters who were haphazardly thrown together in the boarding house were thinly drawn, and there were some oddly hanging loose ends to the story. I'm a big Dylan fan but wasn't keen on the arrangements and I failed to see how they fitted with the play. It all seemed a bit of a mess - too much fiddling around with the set too. The fiddle player was good though
Excellent all round. Superb performances and meaningful rendition of the songs of Dylan in the context of the story and of the times. Thoroughly recommended. Only wish the Old Vic could do something about the ladies loos.
This play which was an excellent story in its own right was enhanced by the wonderful songs and musicality of the actors. A very special and unique theatrical experience.
GFTNC perfectly blended Dylan's lyrics with the poignant story of poverty in Chicago during the Great Depression. The cleverly transformed music and lyrics were subtly, relevantly and cohesively injected into the story to make a wonderful piece of exciting musical theatre.
We loved this play, so original and engaging. The music flows and some of the numbers are beautifully sung! Shirley Henderson who plays Elizabeth has a fantastic voice, also Sheila Atim and Arinze Kene. The Dylan lyrics are worked seamlessly into the play, and the action is pacy.
It's been heavily flagged up that this is not a musical. It's a delicate, imaginative and impressionistic play featuring many rearranged and gorgeously sung Bob Dylan songs. The setting is depression era USA in a low-rent boarding house. And like many of the characters in Dylan's songs, they are all flawed but have something to love. It's funny, charming and ultimately moving. Go and see it.
No exchange or refund after purchase.
ACT 1: 60 minutes
INTERVAL: 20 minutes
ACT 2: 70 minutes
Total: 2h 30 minutes
So is it a musical?
Girl from the North Country is a production with music. There are around 18 songs. Conor McPherson describes the show as ‘a conversation’ between the songs and the story. It’s not a compilation of Bob Dylan’s greatest hits or a classic West End blockbuster where the songs drive the plot.
For more info and Frequently Asked Questions on the show, read our article here.
Good To Know
Contains some moderate use of strong language and adult themes.
Latecomers: 7 minutes and 25 minutes
No re-admittance otherwise.
Travelling via Waterloo?
From Sat 5 – Mon 28 Aug fewer South West Trains will run in and out of London Waterloo station and several platforms are closed for major upgrade works. There will also be no Southeastern services at London Waterloo East Station from Sat 26 Aug – Sat 2 Sep. Please leave plenty of time to get to The Old Vic and visit the Network Rail website for more information.
How Does It Work
Please bring along your printed voucher to the box office to collect tickets before the show.
When Can I Go
Mon - Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm
Where Do I Go
The Old Vic, The Cut London, SE1 8NB