Silhouette of a little girl standing in front of an illustrated dream landscape including what looks like a child

Marianne Dreams

By Catherine Storr
Adapted for the stage by Moira Buffini
Ticket prices: £6 - £29.5
Fri 14 Dec 2007 - Sat 26 Jan 2008

On her tenth birthday Marianne is forced to bed with a fever. 

Picking up an old pencil she starts to draw.  That night Marianne dreams. 

This is the Almeida Theatre’s first Christmas family production.  Catherine Storr’s novel was first published in 1958 and reprinted many times, soon becoming a much loved children’s classic.  The Almeida production will use actors and dancers to convey the world of Marianne’s dreams. 

Marianne Dreams is directed by Will Tuckett, best known for his work at the Royal Opera House; Wind in the Willows, The Canterville Ghost, A Soldiers Tale and Pinocchio.   He recently directed and choreographed The Seven Deadly Sins for The Royal Ballet and Into the Woods for ROH2.

Moira Buffini, who has adapted Marianne Dreams, recently wrote Dying For It for the Almeida Theatre, and is well known for her brilliant comedy Dinner at the National Theatre and in the West End. 

Marianne Dreams is recommended for children of 7 years and above.  

PLAY OUR online game

LISTEN to Paul Englishby's music (MP3 files)

Exultant Song: Mark and Marianne arrive at the lighthouse

Inside with Fugue: Marianne first goes into the house she has drawn.

We will be selling cds of the Marianne Dreams soundtrack at the theatre, as well as books, pencil sets, scripts, programmes, ice creams and sweets.  More information

For full details of performance dates and times see our performance schedule which you can download below:

Marianne Dreams Performance Schedule (pdf)

Download the production programme as a PDF document


  • jackjamesforgallery.jpgjackjamesforgallery.jpg
  • MoiraandWillweb.jpgMoiraandWillweb.jpg
  • Sarahandselina.jpgSarahandselina.jpg
  • sarahmalinforgallery.jpgsarahmalinforgallery.jpg
  • Selina.jpgSelina.jpg
  • selinaandmark.jpgselinaandmark.jpg
The Cast of Marianne Dreams
Jack James

Jack James (Dr Burton)


Jack James’ theatre work includes The Wonderful World of Dissocia for the National Theatre of Scotland, Richard II for the Old Vic, The Coast of Utopia, The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk, Money, Troilus and Cressida all for the National Theatre, Macbeth, King John, Much Ado About Nothing, The Plantagenets and Love’s Labour’s Lost all for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His film and television credits include He Kills Coppers, The Merchant of Venice and Hedd Wynn.

Mark Arends

Mark Arends ( Mark)


Mark Arends' theatre credits include The UN Inspector and A Dream Play for the National Theatre, What Every Woman Knows and Henry V for the Royal Exchange Theatre, The Mayqueen and Urban Legend for The Liverpool Everyman, Vieux Carre for the Library Theatre, Manchester, TamburlaineThe Great for the Rose Theatre, Southwark and Early Bird for the Royal Court Young Writers Festival.  His television work includes The Innocence Project, Silent Witness, Casualty and The Bill.  His film credits include Pride and Prejudice. 

Sarah Boulton

Sarah Boulton (Alternative Marianne)


Sarah Boulton’s theatre credits include The Rocky Horror Show at the Comedy Theatre and on tour, The Wiz Upstairs at The Gatehouse, Cabaret for the English Theatre of Frankfurt, Singin’ in The Rain for Aberystwyth Arts Centre and Only The Brave for the New Theatre Cardiff.

Sarah Malin

Sarah Malin (Catherine)


Sarah Malin’s theatre credits include Penelopiad, Macbeth for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Iphigenia at Aulis for the National Theatre, Pericles for the Lyric Hammersmith, The Cherry Orchard for English Touring Theatre, Dangerous Corner for the Watermill, Grimm Tales for the Stephen Joseph Theatre and Norman Conquests for Theatr Clwyd.  Her television credits include Silent Witness, The Knock, Emmerdale, Every Silver Lining and Wire in the Blood.


Selina Chilton

Selina Chilton (Marianne)


Selina Chilton’s theatre credits include The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello Theatre, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Boyfriend for Regent’s Park Theatre, Can-Can and Nymph Errant for Sadler’s Wells, The Wizard of Oz for Birmingham Rep, Merlin and the Winter King for Derby Playhouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie for the Shaftesbury Theatre and Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre.  Her film and television credits include Casualty, The Royal and Amaze Me.

Siubhan Harrison

Siubhan Harrison (Miss Chesterfield)


Siubhan Harrison’s theatre credits include We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, Les Miserables at the Queens Theatre and Carmen at the New Vic Theatre, Staffordshire.  Her film credits include The Man Who Met Himself.


Creative Team

Director and Choreographer

Will Tuckett



Anthony Ward



Neil Austin



Paul Groothius



Paul Englishby


Video Art and Projection Design

Lorna Heavey



Neil Rutherford

Reviews & Articles


"**** (4 stars) ...many scary, magical and gripping moments..." Critics' Choice, Time Out,  Wed 2 Jan, 2008

"Compelling... sent this writer and his family straight off to buy the book" Time Out (Kids), Wed 9 Jan

"it's a joy to come across a piece like Marianne Dreams...  beautiful, clear, funny, haunting and visually imaginative... a great Christmas show..."  Independent, Mon 24 Dec 2007

Read Full Review 

"...a brilliant choice" The Observer, Sun 23 Dec 2007

Read Full Review

"When the noise and glitter of this year's pantomimes have long been forgotten, this I suspect, is a show that will linger resonantly in the memory"  Daily Telegraph, Fri 21 Dec 2007

Read Full Review

"a thoughtful seasonal show" Guardian, Thu 20 Dec 2007

Read full review

"an intelligent antidote to "he's behind you" seasonal cheer"       Metro, Fri 21 Dec 2007

"a highly sophisticated mix of music, dance and video projections"    Daily Mail, Fri 21 Dec 2007

"inventive, imaginative and really quite compelling"

Daily Express, Fri 21 Dec 2007

"an unusual and intriguing Christmas play", Thu 20 Dec 2007

Read full review




Moira Buffini talks about adapting Marianne Dreams.

Guardian, Thu 13 Dec 2007

Read article

Financial Times, Fri 14 Dec 2007.

Read article

Marianne Dreams Interview

"I think the story somehow touches on something in our subconcious...No wonder we are still gripped by it as adults"
Moira Buffini (playwright)

Find out more by listening to Playwright Moira Buffini and Director and Choreographer Will Tuckett talk about what attracted them to Marianne Dreams and the exciting process of bringing this magical story to life on stage.

Listen online now

Just click on the link below:

Listen to Marianne Dreams interview (MP3 file)

To download this file and listen to it later simply right click on the link above and select 'Save Link As'.

Read a transcript of the interview (Word doc)

Arts Council England ASP Group