Greenwood Dreams Review
For a number of years, Claybody Theatre has built up a big following and reputation for producing heart-warming plays based in Stoke-on-Trent. They combine a professional company, a community cast and celebrate all things Stoke. The past three years has seen Spode play host to Dirty Laundry, Hot lane and the D-road and more recently – The Call – which was told via podcasts online.
NOW – Greenwood dreams, written and produced in lockdown by writer, Deborah McAndrew and composer Ashley Thompson, is also being shared online and involves the Claybody Community Company and Carollers, The Phoenix Singers, and Renaissance music group, PIVA… Review Mel Osbourne – 4 stars.
Greenwood dreams is a choral work based around the legend of Robin Hood. This twenty-three-minute-long piece looks at the themes of loneliness and isolation of lockdown. It embraces how during the months we were locked down and stayed inside, nature took over and the greenery around us was blooming more than ever despite the crisis.
We follow the story of the ‘dreamer’ (Heather Wood) a child home schooling who is fed up and lonely, missing their friends, who falls asleep at their desk and is taken on an adventure by the ‘blackbird’ (Lucy Johnston-Jones) with Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Both perform heart stopping solos.
An enchanting video filmed in various locations of beautiful countryside and woodland and expertly directed and edited by Conrad Nelson and Perry Moore.
Be prepared to have a tissue close to hands as some of the songs will make you shed a tear. The first song ; ‘No school today’ which reminded me of my children’s school closing, is very poignant, but it is balanced by the very jovial ‘merry men’ and the blood thumping ‘Sheriff’ which will take you back to your childhood.
One of the purposes of this production was to bring community together – which is at the very heart of what creators Conrad Nelson and Deborah McAndrew aim to do with Claybody Theatre. It involves around 60 contributors, which included talented musicians, singers and those who simply enjoyed being part of a wonderful creation.
I was fascinated by the array of different instruments used in this as we often hear music in shows and never see the talent behind them. The whole piece has a wonderful medieval vibe to it that certainly takes you back to another world.
This is certainly a production that can be enjoyed by all the family.