Speen Festival 2011  

The Dreaming


Speen Festival 2011 is boldly stepping into the world of woodland mystery by staging THE DREAMING, a musical version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Howard Goodall, the composer of such well-known theme tunes as The Vicar of Dibley and Blackadder, teamed up with lyricist Charles Hart (The Phantom of the Opera) to create this fabulous show for the National Youth Music Theatre.
The action is updated to Edwardian times, just before the start of the First World War. And it is set in a quiet hilltop village surrounded by woodland (remind you of anywhere?) ...
It is Midsummer Eve. Unseen eyes hidden deep in the woods watch those who pass through this magical place. A young scruff of a local lad, Jack, is caught up in a woodland spat between Angel and Sylvia, the punkish tribal leaders of the woodlanders. Two young middle-class couples are tangled in romantic confusion. And the lord of the manor is celebrating his birthday with a patriotic pageant of St George to be (badly) performed by the local tradesmen and farm boys.
The show has a distinctly spooky edge, mixed with superb comedy. And some glorious tunes. This is undoubtedly the most ambitious production we will yet have staged, so don't miss one of the most exciting events of Festival 2011!
The show is recommended for ages 7 upwards.
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The Dreaming: Woodlanders

The Dreaming Production Team
Director: Louise Wilson
Music Director: Sam Laughton
Designer: Jo Podmore
Choreographer/Assistant Director: Lynn Andrews
Producer: Kate Vale
Assistant Producer: Nick Andrews
RSC Open StagesRoyal Shakespeare Company Open Stages
Speen Festival 2011 is delighted to have been accepted onto the RSC's Open Stages Project and 15 members of the cast and production team attended the first skill sharing events offered by the RSC on Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May 2011. RSC directors and actors as well as movement and voice coaches guided them through workshops on vital elements of acting, ranging from how to approach the text and use your voice, to putting on a convincing show of stage combat. See a video here.
The production team attended sessions on staging, lighting, stage management and direction. And throughout the year, Speen Festival can continue to share ideas and experience through a website forum set up by the RSC. The Open Stages project culminates in a national celebration, when a selection of groups are invited to take their production to Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.
"Getting a place in the RSC project is a terrific boost for Speen Festival. The workshops were inspirational and a brilliant way to develop our local talent."
Louise Wilson, Director of The Dreaming
"I found the day really valuable, especially the voice workshop, and it was amazing to work with people from the Royal Shakespeare Company. I'm excited about the rehearsals and the upcoming performance."
Laura Vale, cast member of The Dreaming aged 13
"RSC Open Stages is a new project that aims to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre, re-forging the bond with the world of professional theatre while opening up access to Shakespeare for performers and audiences alike.
Over 2011/2012 the RSC, in partnership with a number of regional theatres and amateur theatre associations, will run a national programme of skills sharing events and showcases, with amateur societies from across the UK producing their own RSC branded Shakespeare themed productions.
The RSC wants to lead a step change in the relationship with the amateur sector; to recognise its rich traditions, open our doors to its work and collaborate with partners nationally to leave a significant legacy.
Michael Boyd
RSC Artistic Director