Photo credit: Young Vic (Photo by Turbulentium on Flickr) 

‘Swingin’ The Dream’ to be staged as work-in-progress concert

The production is a collaborative effort between the Young Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatre for a New Audience.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

A concert of a new work-in-progress production from the Royal Shakespeare Company has been confirmed. Presented by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Swingin' the Dream is a collaboration between the Young Vic and Theatre for a New Audience, which will be available to watch from 9 Jan. 2021.

First performed on Broadway in 1939, Swingin' the Dream is a jazz adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Set in 1890s New Orleans, the original production included performances from Louis Armstrong and Moms Mabley, with musical contributions from Fat Waller and Benny Goodman.

"The fact that this production of Swingin' the Dream existed, and that the manuscript has since disappeared and has never been found, simply intrigues me." said Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah. " I am really excited by the idea that Louis Armstrong was once in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the fact that there was a producer who wanted to make a statement on Broadway at that time about people coming together to simply create great art."

The upcoming concert will feature songs performed in the 1939 production, including "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Jeepers Creepers." The cast includes Alfred Clay, Andrew French, Kemi-Bo Jacobs, Cornell S John, Georgia Sanders, Mogali Masuku, Baker Mukasa and Anne Odeke, with music by Neil Charles, Peter Edwards, Chris Storr and Zara McFarlane.

Swingin' the Dream is available to watch from 9 Jan. 2021. More information can be found here.

Photo credit: Young Vic (Photo by Turbulentium on Flickr


Originally published on

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