Productions

 
 
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One Day, Maybe

Production Info
2013 and 2017
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?

One Day Maybe was developed in Gwanjgu, South Korea, in 2013 and subsequently re-created for the Kochi Museum of Modern Art and a disused gaming Centre in Kanazawa, Japan.

In 2017, the production was re-developed in a disused office block for the Freedom Festival as part of Hull City of Culture 2017, exploring how the technological developments re-inventing Korea mirrored the rapid pace of change across the entire world. Pushing the latest developments in Smart Phone technology and Virtual Reality, the production created a world where the real and virtual were becoming ever-more blurred and increasingly bound together by data collection and exploitation.
 
This production, created by dreamthinkspeak, was commissioned by Hull UK City of Culture 2017.


Originally 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
 
The Guardian Observer

Revolt meets retail in 80s South Korea in this dazzling, thought-provoking production…ONE DAY MAYBE is an unusual, intimidating and thought-provoking show by dreamthinkspeak, a remarkable company founded by Tristan Sharps, whose site-specific work has ranged from a Moscow paper factory to a Clerkenwell abattoir and is now to be found in an office block and car park in central Hull in its city of culture year….The show is technically
 
The Telegraph

This ambitious promenade piece reveals exactly why Hull's City of Culture has been such a success... A meditation about the relation of past to present, of individualism to consumerism, that feels at once universal and insightfully local…..we’re left with a sense of grief at vanished lives – and a lingering question about the value of our own.

The Times

The level of imagination, craftsmanship and commitment to this show, commissioned by Hull City of Culture 2017, is often breathtaking.   
 
The Stage

dreamthinkspeak’s production is impressive both in its scale, using multiple rooms across four floors at King William House, its scope – how technology shapes and controls people – and its staging, with its large cast taking on multiple roles from fast-talking salespeople to military police. It’s a dazzling and deliberately disorientating experience…. a genuinely dream-like warning of the personal control we could lose as we surrender to the supposed freedoms that endless virtual shopping and leisure opportunities offer.     

The i Newspaper

A provocative and chilling production….the malign presence of the state - old and new - is brilliantly conjured and contrasted with the subtle beauty of the ancient shamanist culture. The spirits of the young people that died in the name of freedom pervade this haunting experience.         
 
 
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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 Guardian Observer

The life of the colourful Duchess of Argyll is marvellously evoked through a series of underground installations….sumptuous but saddening.

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.
 
 
Whats On Stage

Absent is the sort of show that can change your world for a while… It swells, very slowly, into a genuinely potent experience….so heavy with melancholy that you find yourself slowing right down, almost lingering to prolong something or preserve it. Once something's gone, we know it's gone - only theatre can change that. It can let us step into a lost world and when it does, that's quite something. Truly, Absent will make your heart grow fonder.

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 

As with anyone who has been lucky enough to see the show, I feel honour-bound not to spoil the evening’s melancholy fun by spilling too many beans. But…. It’s hard to think of a more poignant image of the human race getting perilously out of its depth.

The Financial Times 

dreamthinkspeak’s new piece of site-specific theatre is a quizzical, surreal journey into the world of technology and consumerism……encourages you to muse on where we are heading and whether we can pause and ask what progress really means.

 
 
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 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.
 
 

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

Whatsonstage

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Press

 
 
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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."