Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: I Dreamed A Dream

The entire world first dismissed her when Susan Boyle appeared on our screens in that gold dress and crazy hair, but now we are all familiar with the name SuBo, but we're not all clued up about the struggles that Boyle faced throughout her life. But now "I Dreamed A Dream" shows us the true Susan Boyle in a jukebox style musical.

Although the dialogue can be extremely cringe worthy at points (imagine a series of GCSE drama monologues scattered between songs) and some of the choreography had me wincing in my seat (a moment of unnecessary contemporary chair movement, it's hard not to be moved by the truthfulness and honesty behind the storyline and talk of achieving dreams. The short, snappy scenes keep the pace going smoothly and are entertaining to watch. The clever use of TV screen scattered against a backdrop allow the scenes to transition quickly and seamlessly.

Elaine C Smith plays the title role and has a pair of lungs on her, performing some of Susan's signature songs and directly telling the audience her 'fairy story' in between flashes of scenes and songs. The script cleverly overlooks Susan's learning difficulties and Smith portrays an honest telling of her life. The rest of the cast play a number of roles ranging from Boyle's parents, to school bullies, to her best friend. The company string well together and have a strong impact in the development of the plot showing the versatility amongst them. The whole company deserved the standing ovation on press night.

Having sat through Boyle's whole life in two and half hours it's not until the final moment when SuBo herself makes an appearance to sing some of her famous songs that the plot really hits home and makes you realise how inspiring this tale is. SuBo still remains the cheeky performer we all fell in love with and the audience revelled in her stage presence.

After being sceptical on so many levels on another jukebox musical, it's clear to see that the rags to riches fairy story is an all round win. It's the new real life, inspiring Blood Brothers, but with a magical ending.

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