play for professional and amateur actors, late teens to early
'A Comic Drama in Nine Dreams', the play concerns a young man
who is kept in a cage-like travelling showman's booth attended
by two figures: a pantomime dame and a Principal Boy. They turn
up in a nondescript place looked after by a Caretaker who seems
to be only just in control of his responsibilities - he can't
get command of things, he says, because the words are never
right. A bizarre gang of physically athletic beings hunt for
the Boy and, when they find him, force him to enact his own
dream in a folk-play-within-the-play. After which, in a cod-pastoral
picnic scene the Girl and the gang and the Boy enact and re-enact
their meeting and 'marriage'.
story logic is not the same as waking logic. It works by association
of images, each image bearing its own individual meaning, and
the patterns of images, taken together, making further meanings
still. Such narratives are three-dimensional networks rather
than linear, cause-and-effect events. Nor are they interested
in exploring character in the way that, say, Ibsen does. Because
of this a dream play presents actors with different challenges
from the ones they are used to. And this one is deliberately
written to allow everyone involved as much opportunity as possible
to bring to the production their own interpretation and ideas,
from director, set, lighting and costume designers, to the actors
published version includes the author's Introduction and Notes.
by Stroud Festival
performed by Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, 1981
published by Heinemann, 1982
out of print. But I have a few copies left.
you're interested in reading or performing the play, contact
contents are ©Aidan Chambers unless otherwise stated.