This is a Sing-A-Long Review. Press play on the backing track to “I Dreamed a Dream” before reading.
There was a time musicals were kind
When the songs were discreet
The spoken parts mere bridges
There was a time audiences weren’t blind
And the world knew the difference
Between cinema and theatre
There was a time
Then it all went wrong.
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hype was high
And life worth living
I dreamed I’d be moved, perhaps I’d cry
I dreamed Russell’s pipes would be forgiving
Then I was young and had forgot
That musical drama is thin, unfurnished
That the internal monologue each character’s got
Is lyricised and made quite earnest.
But the stars they come at night
The actors’ voices soft as thunder
They’re determined to prove their point
That they can tear your ears to shreds.
So they bellow by our side
The screen filled by haunting close-ups
Hugh was good, while Russell tried
Anne was gone when halfway came.
Yet still I dream it’ll come to me
That the emotion will rip me asunder
But there are dreams that cannot be
Dreams ontologically a non-starter.
I had a dream that this would be
A story told with much conviction
Impressively mounted though it seemed
The musical form remains unredeemed.