Caryl Churchill’s spare and resonant version of Strindberg’s enigmatic masterpiece.
Written in 1901, a mysterious amalgam of Freud, Alice in Wonderland and Strindberg’s own private symbolism, A Dream Play follows the logic of a dream:
A young woman comes from another world to see if life is really as difficult as people make it out to be. Characters merge into each other, locations change in an instant and a locked door becomes an obsessive recurrent image. As Strindberg wrote in his preface, he wanted ‘to imitate the disjointed yet seemingly logical shape of a dream. Everything can happen, everything is possible and probable. Time and place do not exist.’
This version of A Dream Play, from a literal translation by Charlotte Barslund, is by leading playwright Caryl Churchill. It was first performed in the Cottesloe auditorium of the National Theatre, London, in February 2005, in a production directed by Katie Mitchell, with additional material by Katie Mitchell and the company.
Also included is an introduction by Caryl Churchill.
‘Elegant yet funereal and, like dreams, paradoxically serene and fraught’
— Independent on Sunday
‘100 minutes of disconcerting theatrical brilliance… spellbinding’
— Daily Telegraph