Dream Team: Search for the Sandman @ Liverpool Royal Court Theatre

Photo Credit: The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

Photo Credit: The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

It can be a bit of a nightmare sometimes when you’re trying to get your children to sleep at night. Some parents have their own way of getting around this problem, maybe they tell them a bedtime story or sing them a lullaby and if that method stops working they’ll try to find another way to get their little darlings to drop off.

This was indeed the case in The Dream Team, Search for the Sandman, the Royal Court Liverpool Youth Theatre’s fourth annual show, or at least it was until the sandman disappeared.

When the parents started to notice that their children were not sleeping and had become unruly, they desperately tried in vain to do everything in their power to rectify the situation, but nothing worked, not even Mr. Morpheus’s soothing night time milk.

A group of superheroes called The Dream Team were enlisted in order to try to help these people restore some calm to bedtimes and the travelled the world looking for the sandman, which was quite a big adventure in itself as there were evil ninjas everywhere trying to attack them everywhere they went.

This was musical fairy tale with lively dance routines and was designed with a younger audience in mind. It had a very simplistic plot and was well written. So well written, in fact, that the audience (which consisted mainly of under seven’s) did seem to be very enchanted by the show and there was hardly a peep out of them.

There were the scary scenes too, like there always are in good fairy tales, and of course, you’ll probably have guessed by now what the finale of the story was. Yes, everything turned out alright in the end and they all lived happily ever after.

With a cast full of young actors who are still just learning, it would be a bit harsh to be too critical of the show, however, there were weaker moments. Some of the singers were slightly off key, for example, but anyone who’s ever sung on stage knows that it’s sometimes hard to hear what’s going on around you when you’re miked up, so this can easily be forgiven. This should not take away from the strength of the entire ensemble, however, who managed to put on a highly enjoyable show and kept the entire audience enthralled throughout.

It’s great that there are opportunities like this out there for young people to get into theatre and Liverpool’s Royal Court Youth Theatre is one of the best there is as there’s no audition process, so anyone between the ages of 11 and 25 can join.

The show itself was deeply engaging with a little bit of mild humour every now and again, it was surprising too that the audience were so captivated by it, every parent knows it’s hard to keep a young one quiet, particularly at the theatre, so this was an obvious sign that this show was a winner. I look forward to seeing what the Royal Court’s Youth Theatre have in store for us next time around!

Reviewed by Heather Hoy at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre on 25th August 2016.