Beautiful Dreamers – Thursday, November 27, 2014 – 12:00 to Sunday, December 7, 2014 – 20:00
Beautiful Dreamers is a new work that combines the talents of two of the best site specific theatre companies in Ireland. The play was written by Tom Swift of the Performance Corporation and directed by Louise Lowe of Anu. As such, I really didn’t know what to expect when waiting at the Belltable Arts Centre in Limerick, which is always the best way to go into these performances.
One of the cleaners told us that there had been some type of mix up and that there was no performance on here tonight. We were forced outside as she had to lock up. This is where we meet one of the denizens of the street, a young man who beckons us to follow him to see something beautiful. And so we begin our trip through the streets of Limerick following this unusual pied piper, for a piece that allows us to see the city from below and from high above.
Beautiful Dreamers takes on many issues that affect Limerick today and doesn’t shy away from the darker side. There are segments on Moyross and the various other troubled areas in the city. There are sections on addiction, unemployment, suicide and death but there are also many happier pieces. There are times with dance and where the audience is encouraged to dance themselves. One of the most impressive things about the performance is the level of stage management involved and this has certainly set a high bar for any to follow. At times it felt like they were controlling all of the city, and you are never quite sure what is under their power and what is not.
There are heavily scripted moments where it felt like traditional theatre, where actors stand before us and tell us of their lives. They are normal people who have opinions that don’t always fit with the liberal mindset. The level of ambition of this piece is one of the most striking things about it. It tries to capture the city of Limerick in its totality, and the size and scale of the production is very impressive. The Limerick City of Culture Festival has received many negative notices since the start of the year, but this is something which is very much to its credit. This is initiative and new and also uniquely Irish.
Written by Tom Swift.
Directed by Louise Lowe
Costume by Niamh Lunny.
Lighting by Stephen Dodd
Cast: Bairbre Ni hAodha, Clare Barrett, Dee Burke, John Cronin, Úna Kavanagh, Erica Murray, Karl Quin