‘Cavern Of Dreams’ was a play, based upon Spencer Leigh & Andrew Doble’s book ‘Let’s Go Down The Cavern’, starring Andrew Schofield and opened at the Liverpool Playhouse in August 1984. It also prompted a song of the same name and performed by Peter Rimmer and Paul Reid.
Bob Wooler, the legendary DJ of the Cavern Club [from 1961 to 1967] and aficionado of all things Mersey Beat, saw the show and was prompted to write the following response to a performance he had seen.
‘Cavern of Dreams’ is aptly named, in that it bears little relation to reality. The famous celler club in Liverpool, where the action is supposed to take place, was about things which are hardly dealt with in this play. The production only serves to add to the mythology and the mystique – and the mistakes. of the place. I should hope that anyone seeing the treatment would view it as a kind of Hollywoodised version, for this certainly is not how it was, believe me.
The play revolves around a pop/rock group called Billy and the Dingles. Like most of the play they are fictional. I can honestly say that of all the hundreds of groups, who were typical of the Mersey Beat scene, that I used to book into the Cavern at lunch times, evenings, marathons, and all nighters, not one of them resorted to the four letter words, general uncouthness and aggressive behaviour of this one.
Of course, if as an observer, a note taker and a commentator, which I was (and still am) of the Cavern days, where I was the resident Disc Jockey/Compere/Booker/Publicist/and general factotum for six years, from 1961-67, if this fact is not to be reckoned with then my views and comments are of no consequence. If this is so, then who’s are? Do you want the horse’s mouth, or the other end of the horse? The record shows my active involvement, not just on the side-lines but in the forefront. This is highlighted in numerous books on the MerseyBeat Liverpool scene, and is unchallengeable.
I wonder what the qualifications are of those who put this hotch-potch of a play together. Just how often did they actually visit the mersey Beatle Cavern of the 60’s if at all? This play is make believe stuff, competently acted, but chiefly concerned with innuendos, getting laughs, being controversial and dropping names.
By Bob Wooler.