30 June to 11 July 2015
Reviewed by Meresa Bergin
We arrived at the St James Theatre from Victoria train station which took an hour from Brighton, the theatre is a short walk from the station and fairly easy to find, although we didn’t realise we were outside of it when we stopped to ask someone!
The theatre is very elegant and one of the smartest I have been to, it looks like a cocktail bar and sells drinks and snacks. The booking office is straight in front of you when you walk in so very easy to find and the staff were wonderful. There are two toilets in the theatre which were very clean and well stocked.
The Dreamers is a musical that commemorates 100 years since the Battle of Gallipoli and tells the story of Captain Salomons through the eyes of his jealous solider Jack Hastings. This musical is breath-taking and I was in awe. I have of course heard of the war but I have never before felt part of it, the theatre is small so you are very close to the stage and you feel truly part of what is happening. I felt so connected, so there with the soldiers, their wives and children as they fought for freedom having no real idea of what they were doing, what they risked losing and gaining.
I was unsure when I heard the live band begin to play, it seem too vast a difference between the modern and the lives of these people but I soon forgot about this as they began to sing and it really brought goosebumps as they sang their pain and heartbreak, I loved the on screen appearances from Amanda Redman who is one of my favourite actors. I felt this clever take of modern and old really worked, including and pulling younger members who would be new to this as well as honouring those who had family members they knew it in war or friends.
You could feel the emotion in every word that was sang, how these young boys had to pretend to be fearless and brave when all they dreamt of was being at home with their wives, children and mothers and how the women had to take of the roles of both mother and father, the children had to take on so much and all had to put a smile on and not make a fuss. I loved all the songs played but I did adore the ones sang with the children who were hugely talented and give such a heart-warming performance. To see how these young men and women fought to keep dreaming for a better future, how much hope they had to make life bearable when it was falling apart gives us all a reminder to be thankful for all they did for us.
So lovely to see such a vast amount of different people there from young to old in one place enjoying one show, I love how theatre can bring people who would normally not have anything to do with each other, together.
I was told there were programmes to buy for £5 which went to charity which I thought was a lovely idea and give you so much more information and are a great keepsake.
This is a beautiful, simple but so filled show which will stay with you for a long time after. As we travelled home we kept catching ourselves humming the songs and feeling so honoured to be able to be part of something so great, as we truly felt part of it.
Tickets cost from £15 to £35
The Dreamers is at the St James Theatre in London until 11 July 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 264 2140.
St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA | 0844 264 2140