Productions

 
 
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Absent

Production Info
2015
A young woman enters a hotel. She is magnetic and compelling, yet strangely detached, as if in a dream. She books for one night and remains for a lifetime; she’s happy and optimistic, yet unfathomably sad; she is wealthy, but bankrupt and survives on credit; she has many lovers, but loves no one; she is 18 years old – or is she 80?
 
The Duchess of Argyll booked into a central London hotel in 1978 and was ejected several years later, having finally run out of friends and credit. In Absent, she is surreally re-imagined entering a hotel as an optimistic 18 year-old in the 1950’s and being evicted in the present day, into a modernised and radically changed world.
 
Absent will create an intimate journey for audiences through a maze-like dreamscape, mixing film and architectural installation with a haunting soundtrack. As you thread your way through the labyrinthine passageways, the rooms and corridors seem to be in constant evolution, shifting from the past to present to future. Homogenizing before our very eyes, the entire site becomes a visual meditation on a lost world, submerging beneath the relentless surge of regeneration.
 
Co-commissioned by Shoreditch Town Hall, LIFT and LeftCoast.
Supported by Arts Council England.
 
 
THE TELEGRAPH
Fleeting, maddening and unbearably heart-rending.

THE FINANCIAL TIMES
A beautiful work in terms both of what it puts together and how, and of what it leaves for us to fill ourselves

NEW YORK TIMES                                      
A requiem for both a place and a person, “Absent” is at once absolutely compelling and, in its unforced commentary on soullessness, deeply sad.

THE GUARDIAN
Tristan Sharps’ exquisite promenade installation leads theatregoers down the deserted corridors of an imaginary hotel into a mysterious maze-like underworld.
 
 
WHAT'S ON STAGE
Absent is the sort of show that can change your world for a while… a masterclass in storytelling through spaces.

THE OBSERVER
These days, “site-specific” is a label often slung around any play enacted in an uncomfortable space. dreamthinkspeak’s marvellous work is different. It truly draws on a particular place to conjure a subject. It makes the buildings outside become vibrant with undisclosed possibilities.                                                 
                                                                                             
 
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One Day, Maybe

Production Info
2013
A site-responsive performance, conceived and directed by Tristan Sharps, inspired by the Gwangju Uprising in South Korea.

In May 1980 hundreds of people in Gwangju, South Korea, demonstrated in the name of Democracy; hundreds were brutally murdered by the paratroopers in the name of the government. Eight years later, South Korea became a democratic republic. Over 30 years later, these past events are still a key part of our present.

The production imagined those who died in May 1980 as spirits who returned to witness the results of their sacrifices. What if they could step into the shoes of the young people alive today and see the same world that we see? What would they make of the world we live in? Would they see a world of liberty and democracy? Or would they wonder what they died for and whether they had more freedom than we do today?

The production was created in Gwangju in a large disused school in early September 2013. The project was recreated for Kochi Museum of Art in October and a disused gaming centre in Kanazawa in November.

Produced by dreamthinkspeak, Asia Now, Asian Culture Complex, The Museum of Art, Kochi, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.
Sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea, British Council, the Japan Foundation

Press

 
 
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In The Beginning Was The End

Production Info
January 28—March 30 2013
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

A new large-scale, site-responsive theatre production, conceived and directed by Tristan Sharps, inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, The Book of Revelation and the world of Mechatronics.

In The Beginning Was The End takes audiences on a journey through the maze-like underground passages and unseen spaces of King’s College and Somerset House into a world of calamitous accidents and divine revelations.

Mixing Leonardo-inspired hydraulics and modern mechanical engineering with dreamthinkspeak’s special blend of film, installation and live performance, it reveals a vision of the world either on the verge of collapse - or the brink of rebirth.

Commissioned by Somerset House Trust, King’s Cultural Institute and TippingPoint.
Sponsored by Bloomberg.
Supported by Arts Council England. 

Press

The Telegraph 


The Financial Times 

"And as you walk on, through the scenarios and installations, there is a cumulative sense of despair at the road that human beings are travelling."

The Independent On Sunday 

"it's worth the wait for the moment of celestial transcendence when the free spirits, unclothed and now calm, process up a winding stairwell and lean out, high above you, like hesitant archangels."
 
The Independent 

"its mix of live performance, witty absurdist videos and haunting “happenings” has its own imaginative integrity and is sustained with terrific logistical aplomb."

The Times 

"it’s a real event from a cast and technical team who sustain their conceit with incredible commitment."
 
The Evening Standard 

"No one could accuse Tristan Sharps and his mind-bending dreamthinkspeak company of aiming low. This new work from the master of large-scale site-responsive theatre is inspired by nothing less than Leonardo da Vinci, the Book of Revelation and the “ever-evolving world of Mechatronics."

 

Press

 
 
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The Rest Is Silence

Production Info
2012
The Rest Is Silence is a cinematic and dreamlike deconstruction of Hamlet, adapted and directed by Tristan Sharps, interweaving performance and film to create, that cuts to the heart of Shakespeare’s great play.

Enclosed on all four sides within a multi-reflective structure, the audience is free to roam and spy on the action as it unfolds around them. Scenes and visual sequences will interlock and interrupt each other, examining the play’s themes and characters simultaneously and from a variety of angles.

Commissioned by Brighton Festival with LIFT and the Royal Shakespeare Company (for the World Shakespeare Festival as part of the London 2012 festival)

Supported by Arts Council England.

Press

The Guardian 

"Most remarkably of all, the production, jointly commissioned with LIFT and the RSC, turns us into voyeurs witnessing a story of murder, lust and madness with a furtive enjoyment."

The Observer 

"Fractured, self-reflecting, cut off from those around him. The site-specific company Dreamthinkspeak has gone to the centre of Hamlet and, in a dazzling take on the play, confronted its audience with wrap-round dilemma."
 
The Independent On Sunday 

"a startling, experimental take on Hamlet in which dreamthinkspeak's director Tristan Sharps pens his audience in a dark hall of mirrors."

The Sunday Times 

"The site-specific wizards Dreamthinkspeak bill this as a “meditation on Hamlet”. Canny multimedia remix is closer to it."
 
The Telegraph 

"the point, surely, is to make us dream, think, and come out talking about the play. In that this production succeeds magnificently."

The Observer

The Financial Times

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Before I Sleep

Production Info
2010—2011
Inspired by The Cherry Orchard, conceived and directed by Tristan Sharps.

Before I Sleep created a series of miraculous journeys through the hidden interiors of a long-forgotten department store, in the centre of Brighton.

Before I Sleep was the biggest selling production in the history of the Brighton Festival and Dome. The run was extended beyond the Festival and was seen by 21,000 people.

The production was recreated for the Zuidas district in Amsterdam for the Holland Festival 2011.

Commissioned by The Brighton Festival 2010.
Supported by Arts Council England and Brighton and Hove Council.

Press

The Independent 

"All I can say is that Before I Sleep is the most mesmerising, atmospheric, visually exquisite piece you are likely to see at this festival, or indeed anywhere."

The Times 

"It isolates, immerses, beguiles, cheeks, challenges and moves. You come out blinking into a real world that seems as provisional as the one you just left."
 
The Sunday Times 

"The installation evokes a sense of burning melancholy. Wandering through the building, there are times when you feel like the last person on earth."

The Independent On Sunday 

"This eerie promenade show – devised by the fabulous immersive theatre company dreamthinkspeak – leaves you to roam around a dark maze of corridors and mouldering chambers in a vast, defunct department store."
 
The Observer
"You would not expect to run into Chekhov in a disused Co-op in Brighton – but he is here in spirit, thanks to dreamthinkspeak, the site-specific company, which, directed by Tristan Sharps, has devised a tremendous promenade piece."

Press

 
 
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One Step Forward, One Step Back

Production Info
2008
Conceived and directed by Tristan Sharps

One Step Forward, One Step Back wove together a magical landscape through the hidden interiors of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral whilst accessing views of the surrounding urban landscape.

Inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, the piece responded uniquely to the host venue’s interior, whilst looking externally to the City beyond, asking the question: What is Paradise?

Commissioned by Liverpool Culture Company for Liverpool ’08 at Liverpool Cathedral

Press

The Guardian 

"The journey takes about an hour; it will sustain you for a lifetime."

The Independent 

"A show of intricate detail and endless possibilities that merits close scrutiny."

The Times 

"The performance takes about an hour, but in terms of impact and resonance it is transforming and timeless."
 
The Observer
"this fascinating creation by the architecturally inspired dreamthinkspeak."

The Independent On Sunday
"an extraordinary promenade event... unforgettable"
 
The Telegraph 

"It's a testament to this show's extraordinary power that when I finally reached the bracing open air of the bell-tower's viewing platform and it suddenly began hailing, I was momentarily convinced that dreamthinkspeak had worked a miracle and made the heavens open. Dazzling."

Press

 
 
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Underground

Production Info
2005
Conceived and directed by Tristan Sharps

Inspired by Dostoyevsky’ s Crime and Punishment, Underground created a world that was constantly shifting around the promenading audience, like a hallucinatory dream where scenes, sounds, fragments, chance encounters and film images merged, transformed and dissolved.

The production was originally created for the labyrinthine interconnecting backstage and basement areas of the Theatre Royal Brighton for The Brighton Festival 2005. It was then re-created and redeveloped for a vast underground former abattoir in Clerkenwell for The Barbican.

Co-commissioned by BITE:05 Barbican Young Genius Season, The Brighton Festival 2005, Made in Brighton and South Hill Park Arts Centre.

Sponsored by The Open University.
Supported by Arts Council England.

Press

The Independent On Sunday
Only dreamthinkspeak, a company that excels at eerie promenade performances, could have done it. It's brilliant stuff.

The Sunday Telegraph
"While people all over the country are watching TV's, stages and cinema screens, in an old abattoir in Clerkenwell a lucky few are being ushered down the stairs and into a dimly lit space of flickering dreams."
 
The Observer
"Wonderful invention." 

Evening Standard
"Thrilling production. Sharps and team have done the Russian master proud." 
 
The Glasgow Herald
"Is dreamthinkspeak the most exciting performance theatre company in England? Just brilliant." 

Press

 
 
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Don’t Look Back

Production Info
2003—2008
Inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Conceived and directed by Tristan Sharps.

Don’t Look Back was a journey into the past and a visual meditation on loss, in which the audience were unwittingly booked on their own personal journey to the Underworld.

The production was recreated for twelve sites in the UK and beyond, including Somerset House in London, Register House in Edinburgh and a range of sites around the world, including the labyrinthine former Treasury building in Perth Australia, a vast disused print factory in Moscow, an the abandoned Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Co-commissioned by Brighton Festival 2003 and South Hill Park Arts Centre, with support from Arts Council England and Made in Brighton.

Supported by The British Council.

Press

The Guardian
"This is a fantastic piece of work. A triumph." 

The Independent On Sunday
"One of the most terrifying, beautiful things you'll ever see." 

The Australian
"One of the most original and thought-provoking dramatic inventions I've seen in years."

The Sunday Times
"It will be impossible to see Somerset House in the same way again." 
 
The Times
"Marvellously atmospheric. Beautifully orchestrated production regularly punctuated by handsome sepia toned film sequences. Akin to being inside a dark, dreamy film. Sublime." 

Time Out
"Intricately put together. Beautiful, witty and deeply unnerving." 

The Scotsman
"I've rarely felt so involved in a promenade piece, nor so moved, excited or frightened. Brighton-based dreamthinkspeak have here confirmed their reputation as one of Britain's most fascinating theatre groups." 
 
Delo Clanek, Slovenian Daily
"Individual scenes are built inventively and attract the spectator with a strong emotional charge, which they entice out of the spectator as well. The point of the setting hides in the interesting twist: A certain kind of an objective observation of the mourners at a certain point overturns into awareness that it is precisely the spectator for whom everything is intended. The spectator is the person locked in the coffin and carried to final rest. Beautiful."

Press

 
 
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Who Goes There?

Production Info
1999—2002
Our first deconstructed version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The production was initially developed for the woods, fields and interlocking studio spaces at The Hawth Theatre in, before premiering at the Brighton Festival in 2001 and the Toneelschur Theatre in Haarlem, Holland. In 2002 the production was specially recreated for Battersea Arts Centre in London, taking over much of the building, including the basement, attic, backstage and main performance areas.

Each venue was transformed into the court of Elsinore, allowing the audience to promenade through corridors, galleries, basements and performance areas, witnessing and eavesdropping on the action around them.

Co-commissioned by the Brighton 2001, The Gardner Arts Centre, The Hawth and The Hazlitt Theatre and Corn Exchange.
Supported by Arts Council England.

Press

The Guardian 'Pick of the Week'
"It gets to the rot at the heart of Denmark, and inside the minds of all the main characters. It is like seeing the play from several different angles, and with different mindsets, simultaneously. It is a nightmarish royal peepshow that smells of decay and death" 

The Times
"A skilful blend of live action and filmed material. Inventive and intriguing." 
 
The Evening Standard
"This is the ultimate post-modern Hamlet. Endearingly accessible, quirkily provocative, and jaggedly alluring, it disorientates onlookers so that they can find new and disturbing routes through Shakespeare's excitingly flawed original" 
 
The Independent
"The dreamthinkspeak company has come up with a Hamlet that has been sweetly deconstructed (two words I thought would never get within spitting distance) in a way that keeps us on the go, not only physically but mentally."