The Dream Sequentialists is guaranteed to brighten your afternoon.
The story follows a group of ‘Dream Sequentialists’ in their production of high-quality, happy dreams for humans. The Foreman, Snorwell, is rather highly strung however and is upset at falling profit margins. As he berates them and forces them to undertake dream training once more, his beleaguered assistant Warty Finks accidentally unleashes her pet, which turns out to be the first nightmare. Hilarity ensues.
Family-oriented rather than child-oriented, this allows the script to play with jokes that might be considered too risqué by some for children’s theatre. The burgeoning homoeroticism between the Foreman and his dream composer Duvet or, more specifically, the Foreman’s lustfulness in face of an oblivious Duvet is played for laughs very well. Without wishing to spoil, certain one-liners are definitely there for the older audience and are delightfully irreverent to traditional family humour.
Some excellent performances mean that younger members of the audience are never lost either. Lucy Mangan as Warty Finks is hilarious from start-to-finish, communicating only with burbles but somehow managing to be perfectly understandable all the same. Her physicality, and indeed the physical movement from all the cast, is brilliant and never neglected. Michael Clarke’s Snorwell does a great job at holding the show together. Sam Hind, Edward Jones and Josie Dale-Jones round off an exceptional core team of Sequentialists.
There are a fair few jokes that don’t work quite as well as others. The eventual introduction of the Sandyman is a bit underwhelming, although it certainly has its moments. In addition, a couple of dream sequences don’t seem to take full advantage of the wonderful physical theatre we saw earlier and it can be a little bit difficult to keep up with where exactly the characters are with rapid changes of scene and location.
However, The Dream Sequentialists is guaranteed to brighten your afternoon and should be seen by everyone who has always known that tiny goblins were messing with your dreams.