July 2012

International Youth Arts Festival, The Rose Theatre Kingston

Music by Howard Goodall
Book & Lyrics by Charles Hart


JACK, A Blacksmith’s Boy  - Tom Goodwin & Adrien Rolet

The Woodlanders

ANGEL, King of the Woodlanders  - Jordan Li-Smith
SYLVIA, Queen of the Woodlanders - Jemimah Taylor
CAPTAIN - Nick Bechman
THORNE - Amelia Bell
BREEZE - Hannah Brown FIREFLY - Kate Brown
SQUIBBLE - Phebe Brown
FISHER - William Chambers
SNAIL - Joseph Cohen
PRICKLE - Susie Curran
SHRUB - Patrick Daunt
FIG - Tara Drummie
MOSQUITO - Eugenio Grimley-Evans
SWALLOW - Hal Henderson
WILLOW - Alexander Hargreaves
THORN - Sam Hilton
PETAL - Olive Jamieson
LUPIN - Isabella Kelly
LEAFY - William Leaf Puvanesan
BRAMBLEFIST - Benedict Mafi
ACORN - Rishi Manuel
ROCK - Elliot Mackenzie
TUMBLEWEED - Laura McClung
BADGER - Charlie Parkman
TWIG - India Phillips
PRIMROSE - Rebecca Woolley

The Lovers

ALEXANDER, A Penniless Artist - Sam Hindmarsh
DAVID SWAN, A Young Officer - James Gulliford
JULIAN, Lord Melstock - Oliver Higginson
HENRIETTA, Lady Melstock - Ciara Charteris
MATTHEWS, A Gamekeeper - Emilio Cavaciuti
BOWLES, A Butler - Louis Watkins

The Villagers

NICK CHEEK, A Butcher - Luke Leahy
BOB FRY, A Sexton - Leonardo Goodall
SETH WIMOTT, A Farmer - Henry Roadnight
JESS DUNN, A Farmhand - Toby Stevenson
WILLIAM GRUBB, Butcher’s Boy - Toby Davies


Recorders - Nicolas Markantonis
Recorders - Hannah Porro
Clarinet - Phoebe Mayho
Soprano Sax - Alex Cowan
Percussion - Nicholas Orr
Keyboard 1 - Hope Tong
Keyboard 2 - Stephen Tatlow
Violin 1 - Vanessa White
Violin 2 - Laurence Turlej
Viola - Katie Lovick
Cello - Alexander Soul
Bass - Kome Eleyae
Répétiteur - Lucy Armstrong


Directors – Jeremy James Taylor & Russell Labey
Musical Director – John Pearson
Choreographer – Ewan Jones
Assistant Choreographer – Philippa Johnson
Original Set Designer – Ruth Paton
Lighting Designer – Richard House
Sound Designer – Charlie Simpson
Set Painter – Olha Luk’yanova
Stage Manager – Imogen Louise Firth
Deputy Stage Manager – Jamie Platt
Assistant Stage Manager – Jamie Prentis
Wardrobe Supervisors – Anne-Marie Horton & Jenny Gayton
Wardrobe Assistant – Jasmine Tucker
Chaperones – Lindsay Bell, Frances Daunt, Stephen Daunt, Donna Hilton, Julia McClung, Laurence Markantonis


THE DREAMING at International Youth Arts Festival, Rose Theatre Kingston, July 17 2012

It takes a big show to fill a stage as large as the one at the Rose Theatre and it takes big acting talent to project into its cavernous auditorium. It would be a big ask for any company, so it wasn’t without a little trepidation on my part that I settled in for Howard Goodall’s The Dreaming, revived 11 years on from its premiere. For the company performing was the National Youth Music Theatre, with a majority of actors and musicians not yet out of their teens. Could they rise to the challenge? Of course they could!

The Dreaming retells A Midsummer Night’s Dream in song (with a few name-changes too), its setting 1914, with The Shadows cast not just by moonlight, but by the fate that awaits innocent, uniformed youth. All the familiar components of Shakespeare’s work are present – the lovers, the fairies, the am-dram society, the bewitchings and the transformations – and there are just as many laughs too. Giggles were loudest for Jennifer's patter song explaining exactly how many ways she was inferior to Charlotte for the benefit of her two suddenly ardent suitors; and the closing play within a play, this time based on the legend of St George, mangled mercilessly by the villagers.

With so young a cast (and in the presence of HRH The Earl of Wessex and many other representatives of British Theatre’s Great and Good) nerves did show a little at times, but such quibbles are utterly drowned by the energy and talent on stage. Stand outs were Molly Lynch as Jennifer, singing and acting beautifully with perfect comic timing; Rupert Henderson as a magnificently camp Reverend Plum, leading his appallingly ill-conceived production with aplomb; and Tom Goodwin's marrying of a superb soprano voice to a real desire to belong in the fairy world as a puckish Jack.

Jeremy James Taylor founded the National Youth Music Theatre around the time that some of the cast’s parents were born, so he knows exactly how to get the most from the youngsters with whom he works. And it shows. Tickets are very reasonably priced for a production of such scale and ambition, so it’s a bargain for parents and an inspiration for kids.

The Dreaming continues at The Rose Theatre Kingston until 22 July as part of the International Youth Arts Festival.

Reviewed by Gary Naylor

The Dreaming – A Magical Musical

Fleeing lovers, local am-drams and wild woodlanders, the National Youth Music Theatre’s (NYMT) production of The Dreaming in the Rose Theatre’s Main House offers something for everyone. Set in a Somerset village during midsummer’s night, The Dreaming is a musical that closely follows the plot of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The story begins with Lord Melstock preparing for his birthday celebrations, until he is interrupted with the news that some of his friends have ran off through the forest to elope. Little does he know that they will soon run into an abundance of fairy trouble. Meanwhile, the village Vicar is preparing a group of am-drams for a pageant for Lord Melstock’s birthday, however, when they are forced to rehearse in the forest, they too fall into the curse of the fairies.

Knowing that the show was being performed by NYMT, I naturally went along with great expectations for what I was about to see and I was not disappointed! For such young performers, the group were incredibly professional with every single member fully engaged in what they were doing. All the musical numbers were pitch perfect with an array of beautiful harmonies, not only showcasing the strong voices of the cast but also the extraordinary talent of the orchestra. I particularly enjoyed the Cuckoo Song performed by the Villagers. The characters involved each delivered a highly amusing performance, while maintaining harmonies that were reminiscent of a barbershop quartet. A particular mention goes to Luke Leahy, as the village butcher Nick Cheek, for a truly outstanding performance. Not only did he perform brilliantly with the villagers, but he also made a magnificent goat!

However, if I had to give one point of criticism it would have to be that there were too many songs! I know this is a very odd thing to say given that it was a musical, but I personally felt that if there was a little more narrative between the musical numbers it would have made it a little easier to follow – particularly for any members of the audience who aren’t familiar with Shakespeare’s play.

Nevertheless, The Dreaming is an excellent show that showcases the exceptional talent of young musical theatre performers. From young children to OAPS, it is suitable for everyone! So grab your entire family and head down to the Rose Theatre for a musical extravaganza!

Reviewed by Gemma Anderson


For all the family, The Dreaming is "one of the NYMT's finest ever pieces of work - an organic tightly realised achievement of power, beauty and immense significance". A magical treatment of Shakespeare's great comedy, The Dreaming was hailed as "the year's best new British musical by a mile". With a cast of 45 of the UK's finest young actors and a 12-piece orchestra, The Dreaming is the perfect show for all ages. Filled with comedy, melancholy, mystery and "haunting music full of shimmering textures", The Dreaming "comes like a breath of woodland air. Marvelous!!”





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