Media Release: Students give Shakespeare a contemporary twist

New Dreams 450x450

First details of the production unveiled

Performance on Saturday 23 April 2016 #New Dreams

STUDENTS from The University of Glasgow, The Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland have joined forces with the musicians of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to create Dream On!, inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in celebration of Shakespeare 400.

Over the last six months, hundreds of young performers, composers, dancers, designers, filmmakers, sound and light designers and technicians, dramaturgs and professional musicians have worked together to create all aspects of the production from the music and performance to garments and other wearables, digital and interaction design elements on the main stage, and the brand identity.

Dream On! will take place on the evening of Saturday 23 April 2016 in the magnificent setting of the University of Glasgow and will be streamed online by the BBC to audiences across the UK.

A powerful demonstration of the city’s creativity, Dream On! illustrates the abiding influence of Shakespeare – his work is as inspirational and relevant today as it was four hundred years ago.

Details of the production and how the different groups of students and musicians have collaborated were revealed today along with the project identity.

The audience will be treated to a promenade production in which music and performance combine with digital installation to create a dream-like world for a contemporary take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

RCS student composers, Alex Mackay, Robert Allan, Rory Comerford and Juta Pranulyte, have each written a new work to be performed by members of the BBC SSO, and involving performers, dancers, filmmakers and some for interpretation into British sign language.

Collaborating with dramaturgs from the University of Glasgow, designers from GSA and performers and production students from RCS, they have created four performance pieces to be unveiled at the event later this month.

Design students at The Glasgow School Art have designed and styled garments and wearables for the performers in the event, as well as producing digital and projected elements that will contribute to its contemporary edge.

Meanwhile, in close collaboration with dramaturgy students at the University of Glasgow, the GSA design students have also created the brand identity for Dream On!, producing a range of marketing and programme materials from film and print to social media.

Click on the link to view the Dream On! trailer created by design students at GSA.

All this work will culminate in an event staged in the University of Glasgow’s Bute Hall, directed and curated by Graham McLaren, currently Associate Director of The National Theatre of Scotland.

It was also announced today that Royal Conservatoire alumnus and leading Shakespearian actor, David Tennant, has pre-recorded a piece of Shakespearian text that has been incorporated into one of the compositions

An associated exhibition of objects and images that have been produced by the wider community of design students at The Glasgow School of Art as an interpretative response to some of the core themes within A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been co-curated by a student-led team from the GSA and the University of Glasgow.

Details on how to get a ticket for Dream On! will be revealed in early April.


About the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s position as one of the pillars of Scotland’s musical life has been established steadily since it was founded in December 1935. Based at City Halls in Glasgow (since 2006), it is a key contributor to the BBC’s broadcasting and cultural role and performs to large and enthusiastic audiences in venues throughout Scotland, as well as carrying out a busy schedule of recordings, concerts and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC television, and online. A past recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best orchestra, the BBC SSO has made over 120 commercial recordings, many of which have received prizes, including four Gramophone Awards.

About the Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art was founded in 1845 as one of the first Government Schools of Design, as a centre of creativity promoting good design for the manufacturing industries of Glasgow. However, the School’s lineage can be traced to 1753, when Robert Foulis established a school of art and design in Glasgow, described as “the single most influential factor in the development of 18th century Scottish Art”. Today, The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) is internationally recognised as one of Europe’s leading university-level institutions for the visual creative disciplines.

Our studio-based approach to research and teaching brings disciplines together to explore problems in new ways to find new innovative solutions. The studio creates the environment for inter-disciplinarity, peer learning, critical enquiry, experimentation and prototyping, helping to addressing many of the grand challenges confronting society and contemporary business.

About the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked sixth in the world for performing arts education. The Conservatoire is a national and international centre of excellence for the performing arts. Building on our roots in 1847 as a national academy of music, we are now one of Europe’s most multi-disciplinary performing arts higher education centres offering specialised teaching across music, drama, dance, film and production as well as encouraging trans-disciplinary learning throughout our innovative curriculum. We are bold, ambitious and optimistic about our future as a truly 21st century conservatoire. As we work towards 2020, our goal, through our students, staff and graduates, is to raise the transformative power and reach of the performing arts in Scotland and to project our distinctiveness to the wider world. Our vision is to be Scotland’s globally-recognised and inspirational leader in learning for the performing arts, attracting and nurturing the best Scottish and international creative talent.

About the University of Glasgow

As a top one per cent university, we deliver world-class and world-changing research and education with impact. We are a member of the prestigious Russel Group of leading UK universities with annual research income of more than £181m and the top student satisfaction rates in Scotland.

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Media enquiries to:

Lesley Booth, Glasgow School of Art

M: 07799414474


Katie Bell, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


T: 0141 270 8387

Jane Chilton, University of Glasgow

T: (0141 -330-7126

M: (0)7976201938


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RCS contact details…

Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387