Anglia Contemporary Theatre puts the focus on dream plays

Published: 3 December 2009 at 13:32

Anglia Contemporary Theatre will present a short season of plays at the Mumford Theatre in January.

Three productions over two weeks will showcase the work of Drama students from the Department of Music and Performing Arts at Anglia Ruskin University, with set and costume designs by students from the Cambridge School of Art. The shows are adaptations of key theatre works spanning just over one century, interpreted and creatively re-staged by the students.

The series begins on 5-6 January with A Dream Play by August Strindberg which is based on the changing nature of dreams. Strindberg's play rejects linear time in favour of associative episodes. He wrote in this Preface to the work:

"The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, dissolve and merge. But one consciousness rules them all: the dreamer's; for him there are no secrets, no inconsistencies, no scruples and no laws. He does not judge or acquit, he merely relates; and because a dream is usually painful rather than pleasant, a tone of melancholy and compassion for all living creatures permeates the rambling narrative."

From 8-9 January, The Exonerated by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen will be staged for Cambridge audiences. The play brings to life the compelling stories of Delbert, Gary, Kerry, Robert, David, and Sunny - six people who were very nearly wrongly executed, but lived to tell their stories. Ranging from two years on death row to more than twenty, their stories reveal the horrors behind death row, the ignorance of their communities upon their release and their struggle to reintegrate themselves into society as the exonerated. The actors’ words are spoken verbatim from interviews, testimony, and documentary evidence.

Returning to the theme of dreams, the final play is Camino Real by Tennessee Williams which will run from January 12-13. A poetic ‘dream play’, set where time and place are transcended, Williams once called Camino Real ‘a picture of the state of the romantic nonconformist in modern society’. With a large cast, including many literary characters and some from folklore, the structure imitates a city street with sixteen blocks or scenes, and is set in a Spanish port. Camino Real is where 'you won't be lonely alone, bewildered alone, frightened alone, nor desperately brave alone either.'

Tickets available from the Mumford Theatre Box Office: £10 (£7 concessions; £5 Anglia Ruskin students) Tel: 01223 352932 and on the door.