Writer: Chris Bush
Music: Russell Hepplewhite
Director: Emily Hutchinson
Reviewer: Sheila Stratford
A Dream is a modern-day Midsummer’s Night Dream, with the addition of a dusting of lovers from some of Shakespeare’s other plays. The setting is the Northern General Teaching Hospital ‘s Accident and Emergency Unit, where the course of true love never runs smooth especially when Puck has a hand in it. You do not need to know your Shakespeare to enjoy this play. A Dream is whimsical, funny and very mischievous.
A Dream was specially written by Chris Bush for the Sheffield People’s Theatre. He was given the challenging task of writing a play for a cast of about 100 members, and he has succeeded admirably. It is an ambitious play that gives everyone their moment to shine. At times, it is a little confusing and difficult to follow the story but it could be argued this is reflective of the busy, hectic nature of the accident and emergency. The production manages to pull it all together, and, it is a dream after all. The enthusiasm and passion of the cast are evident and infectious. Dedication is required, and it is inspirational to watch.
Emily Hutchinson is the Creative Projects Manager at Sheffield Theatre and this is her directorial début in the Crucible. The many comings and goings appear to flow seamlessly as people are wheeled on and off in their hospital bed or trolley and waiting room chairs glide in and out. The movement is helped along by the dynamism of the music as the staff, patients and visitors sing together in unison Love is a Drug or The Night is Full of Wonder, Hold on for the Morning as they process around the stage.
Very occasionally, some of the dialogue becomes lost but on the whole, it is very good. With so much movement and action on stage and such a large cast there are too many excellent vignettes to mention. However, full credit must be given to Nick Ramsbottom (Jonathon Syer) the eccentric, chaotic, medical physician-come-director for a play within the play. He is hilarious, capturing perfectly the incompetent, egotistical, amateur director. Puck (Lois Pearson) is a sheer delight to watch with a lithe spirit and movement. She mischievously orchestrates the distribution of a love potion with amusing consequences.
A Dream isa tribute to the NHS and its staff. It is a celebration of Shakespeare’s workand a most uplifting performance.
Runs until 16 July 2016 | Image: Mark Douet