Reviews for Dream, Sleep, Connect 18 Feb – 7 Mar 2020

‘Stephen Kelly’s slick, straightforward direction keeps things moving at an engaging pace’

‘Rosemary Jenkinson’s Dream, Sleep, Connect deports itself with all the intermingled sharp absurdity and pointed topicality that is fast becoming a signature of her work’

Michael Quinn, British Theatre Guide

‘You’ll laugh, snigger and howl, but most of all you’ll think.’

Conor O’Neill, CultureCrush NI

‘The opening soundtrack of Kate Tempest’s ‘People’s Faces’ is very apt – “I face off with the physical…/ There is so much peace to be found is people’s faces …/ More empathy / Less Greed / More respect” perfectly sets the mood for c21 Theatre Company’s latest production Dream, Sleep, Connect which investigates our modern tendency to eschew face to face contact for a spot of digital disconnection.’

‘While you can leave your pathos at the door on the into the theatre, you’ll have to pick it up on the way back out and ponder the fresh hell we have created by mixing up long working hours, app culture, narcissism, transitional relationships, surveillance and privacy concerns with trending poor mental health. There must be more to life than dreaming, sleeping and connecting?’

Alan in Belfast (Alan Meban)

‘Richard Clements is a winning presence as Chris, the laid-back and sometimes hapless computer programmer. Maria Connolly, meanwhile, has the added pressure of playing not one, but three characters. She is hilarious as online dating aficionado Tanya, a slow-burn as the nervous and nervy Cora and thoughtful as Chris’ boss Lucy, subtly showing a woman who might not be quite as corporate as she seems.’

‘Jenkinson often explores political ideas in her work, and manages to include Brexit, Disability Benefit fraud and online scamming into the overall plot. The script is bang up to date with references to the Coronavirus, while references to mental health and suicide struck a more sombre note with the audience, given the headlines of the past week.’

No More Workhorse (Cathy Brown)

‘What we’ve got here, if you’re looking for any comparisons, is part Blade Runner, part Take Me Out and a whole lot more, a deliberate soullessness married to an equally deliberate longing for fun, if not love.’

’Sadness especially. Even as we laugh, there is a devastation in Connolly’s portrayals of Lucy, Tanya and Cora, aided by the pivotal Clements.’

Simon Fallaha