Following its London professional premiere at the Union Theatre on Wednesday 3rd September, Howard Goodall’s the dreaming, has received widespread acclaim, with the production attracting 5 star reviews. Goodall’s re-imagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (with lyrics by Charles Hart) is directed by Paul Clarkson.
Originally commissioned by the National Youth Music Theatre in 2001, the dreaming has been described as being an “intimate and playful staging full of fun, frolic, flora and fauna” by The Union Theatre. Performances will continue there until Monday 27 September.
'A gorgeous, musically enveloping dream of a show that takes a beloved Shakespeare play and delicately transposes it to a pre-First World War English country idyll, over which dark shadows will soon be cast. Shakespeare’s original plot and this fresh take on it are seamlessly interwoven, but it is composer Howard Goodall’s heady, heavenly melodies that maintain and project an eerily captivating sense of strangeness and intrigue.'
The Stage (Mark Shenton), 8 September 2014
'The weird and wonderful staging is utterly transfixing whilst Goodall's score is simply enchanting.
Helen Rymer's bold and wacky choreography works a treat, never feeling too small or too squashed. the dreaming is performed with punch; the young cast are fearless and give their all, totally embracing its quirkiness. Kingsley Hall's design is simple yet striking; I was drawn into another world.
It's refreshing to see a 'strange' piece of theatre being performed with such beauty. the dreaming certainly dares to be different, its style only enhances and brings something new to a story we have all seen performed time and time again.'
West End Frame (Andrew Tomlins), 8 September 2014
'Creating a convincingly mystical, enchanting and surreal setting for Howard Goodall and Charles Hart’s (books and lyrics) take on A Midsummer’s Night Dream in the very basic confines of the boundary-pushing Union Theatre was never going to be easy. But, while it takes time, this mainly young, vibrant and totally focused cast manages to pull off a largely delightful production of the dreaming, full of captivating, touching and humorous moments.
A visit to the Union Theatre over the next month could be what many fringe theatre-goers’ dreams are made of.'
Onstage, Musical Theatre Review (Derek Smith), 7 September 2014
'Charles Hart relocates the story to a Somerset village in an Edwardian society on the cusp of the Great War but maintains the vast majority of the original tale as Goodall weaves his inimitably English compositional magic around it.
Minor cavils about the production aside, this is a strong opening then for a season which will see Love Story and Girlfriends follow the dreaming and a brilliant opportunity to hear the work of one of our classiest composers up close and personal.'
There Ought To Be Clowns (Ian Foster), 7 September 2014
'An enchanting reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the dreaming has everything you could want in a musical: beauty; magic; love; humour; intrigue; jealousy; and energy, like you’ve never seen before.
With music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Charles Hart, it is utterly bewitching; the culmination of so much talent both on and off stage creates an abundance of je ne sais quoi, giving a glorious new lease of life to the classic Shakespearean story.'
Ginger Hibiscus, 9 September 2014
'…magnificent musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream…whose musical tunes, harmonies, counter-points, polyphonies and flourishes are absolutely exquisite. The music is full of passion, joy and expression.'
British Theatre (Stephen Collins), 6 September 2014
'… Goodall’s music has a warmth and humanity to it which makes it a constant pleasure to listen to, as well as an emotionally engaging experience.'
Rageoffstage, 11 September 2014