Undream'd Shores

By universal consent, Undream’d Shores at the Hackney Empire was without doubt Grand Union’s best large-scale spectacular ever – fluid, seamless, exciting, daring, colourful, moving, humorous and tragic by turns.

Undream'd Shores portrays migration in all its aspects – all the more immediate, exhilarating and moving because many of the performers are themselves migrants or from migrant families. It is based on their experience and uses their musical legacy to tell their stories, and it is their experience that you see on stage

This 21-minute video gives a flavour of the original show, but remember it can't possibly convey the full sensation! The full-length DVD (85 minutes) is on sale from our shop or can be bought direct from us. Eight individual numbers can be accessed on our video page.


Undream’d Shores is more than just a show, however. There is also a whole raft of integrated activities designed to engage people of all ages, from every cultural background. The elements of the programme, all driven by a common philosophy and artistic purpose, are described  here, illustrated with a wonderful selection of photos.

Touring Undream’d Shores and its ancillary programmes - the instrument menagerie, world music workshops, family matinee - will form the backbone of Grand Union’s work for the next three years. Here is a short video of the menagerie:


Undream'd Shores also influences the development of other projects related to its ideas and ethos – our Youth Orchestra, the Summer School, Second Generation scheme and practical workshops promoting the art of improvisation - described elsewhere on this site.


Undream’d Shores was first performed at the Hackney Empire over the weekend of November 1st/2nd 2014, universally acclaimed as Grand Union’s best ever large-scale show. Here is the original programme for the Empire show, which also gives details of performers and the background to the show.

Reviews can be found here from London Jazz News , BBC Music Magazine, All About Jazz and Neon Nettle

The next production of Undream'd Shores was completely different, but no less extraordinary! Given two performances in the Great Hall, Leeds University on November 29th 2015, it featured the University Music School's 60-strong orchestra and 40-voice choir, 25 musicians from SAA-uk's Academy of Indian Music, and 12 Grand Union Orchestra singers and soloists. Excerpts from these performances can be found on our video page.

Yvette Huddleston wrote in the Yorkshire Post:
"A unique collaboration resulting in a hugely uplifting concert... There were some incredibly moving moments in an outstanding concert that was as much as anything a timely celebration of difference through unity, and a heartening reminder of the power of music to bring people together."
(Her full review appears here, and her interview with Tony Haynes here)

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