With just a few days to go until The Dream hits the stage at St Paul’s, we thought we’d take a look at who Nancy-Josée Smith is, and what made her decide to bring this story forward now. Get your tickets here!
In 2015 following her performance in Fame with City Academy, Nancy-Josée Smith was inspired to write a musical about how it may feel to flee war. With a passion for D.R. Congo, Nancy-Josée has spent the last 10 years dedicated to bringing awareness about the deadliest crisis since World War II where more than 6 million people have died since 1996, and where an international report concluded 48 women are raped every hour.
The Congo is a country whose people suffer whilst their resources are pillaged including Coltan found almost exclusively in the Congo, 80 % of the world’s Coltan is in the Congo. The musical though set within this dramatic and import backdrop transcends Congo to tell the tale of all those who have fled their homes through the threats associated with conflict and war.
Nancy-Josée was born in Canada, but raised in Canada and Norway, by Congolese parents. Although she did not grow up in the country, Congo is where she calls home. As well as writing music and bringing attention to the situation in the Congo through diverse mediums such as this musical, Nancy-Josée has a legal background having been called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2014 and has a desire to become an International Criminal Lawyer working with people affected by war.
The Dream is a script full of interesting characters and 14 songs. The musical is based on a true story and follows the life of a family of four, Fabrice the father, Betty the mother and Divine and Merveille their two daughters who flee Congo as refugees to Norway with the help of two Swedish missionaries, Ava and Josef. Additional characters include UN Delegates including a perspective on UN intervention, the sad realities of being a Child Soldier and President Mobutu (President of the then Zaire).
The words and songs highlight the thoughts and feelings that fleeing your country in search of safety and a better life engage, sadness to leave a country you call home, fear of the unknown future that awaits and hope for a better life.
After holding auditions Nancy-Josée has found a cast of 14 talented actors with a range of backgrounds and experiences that they bring to the production. It is a musical that wishes to bring people from different backgrounds and experiences together to find a solution for a better world. It breaks down the barriers of we and they and instead shows that no matter who you are or where you come from we can all come together to make positive change in the world.
The Dream is on for one-night-only on May 12th! Get to our box office now to get your tickets before they’re all gone…