Last time I came to the Oldham Coliseum, the man in the seat next to me told me that ‘we like our comedy’.  In fact, life is beautiful, comic and tragic at the same time, and this production handles all three deftly.

Dreamers follows a group of close knit, fun loving, working class women from their apparently carefree days in the local club, to the reality of life twenty years later and the question of what those memories meant.  Lindsay Williams, co-writer, comments: ‘Dreamers is for a different theatre crowd – women who might usually go to a gig or a festival, or a big night in Manchester.  It’s about them, it’s for them.  It’s also for all the people of Oldham who remember going to this one club and the great nights they had there.’

At heart this is a musical, with an imaginative mix of original nineties songs and newly composed pieces.  It’s beautifully choreographed, with excellent movement, and the ‘Dreamers Community Chorus’ adds depth and variation to the music.  Apart from a slow start to the second half, the pace is good.  Attention to nineties detail is, I was told, impressive (thank you to my friend Ailsa who ‘was there’).

Credit Joel C Fildes

Photo Credits: Joel C Fildes

But this is also a well written piece of theatre.  The dialogue is strong and mixes comedy with tragedy, with well drawn characters travelling interesting journeys.  For me the success of this production comes down to the engaging and believable characters that are created by the strength of both dialogue and acting.  In fact there is such strength in depth in this all-female cast that each part contributes to the whole; some of the best lines are given to those in supporting roles.  This is a production about friendship not individuals.

Elements of this musical are firmly rooted in Oldham – the locations, the humour, the characters – and it is refreshing to see a production that resonates so well with the local theatre.  But the story travels well and has universal appeal.  It’s a great night out, for everyone.


Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

One Response to “Dreamers”

  1. Hi Dave,

    My name is Megan and I work in Press at Contact. I’d love to add you to our press list for previews, interviews and reviews? Please drop me a line if you’d be at all interested.

    Many thanks,

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