Unreal City - Brighton Dome January / February 2022

Unreal City is a new smart city district currently in development. A fully accessible block of smart studio apartments will lie at the heart of this district. To view these new apartments, you are invited to book an appointment at our virtual marketing suite, unaware of the digital rabbit-hole through which you will soon disappear……

Blending live performance by learning disabled artists with virtual and mixed reality, Unreal City explores what personal connection means in a world that is increasingly digital.

We’ve been developing Unreal City with Access All Areas since 2019 through a series of workshops with a diverse range of talented artists.

This project is a work-in-progress that will continue evolving and we are keen to hear your feedback as we build towards a full-scale project in the future.

Originally commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre and developed at the National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio.

Unreal City is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and The Foyle Foundation.


Brighton Festival 2022

We are thrilled to announce that artistic director Tristan Sharps will be Guest Co-Directing with Marwa al-Sabouni Brighton Festival 2022!

Andrew Comben, Brighton Festival Chief Executive today announced that next year’s festival will be led jointly by Syrian architect and author, Marwa al-Sabouni and Brighton-based theatre artist Tristan Sharps, as the first Guest Co-Directors to be invited to collaborate together on the programme.

Andrew commented: “Following on from the success of this year’s festival it is with huge pride and pleasure we announce our 2022 plans to work with Marwa and Tristan as the first Guest Co-Directors in the festival’s history. They both share a searching, questioning sensibility and have a fiercely intelligent and creative collaboration that is enormously exciting. Through their international yet deeply people-focused practices, their hope-filled vision will make for a unique festival experience as we emerge from the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. We are enormously grateful for all the support we had to make Brighton Festival happen this year and we can’t wait for 2022.”

Full press release:

Brighton Festival will take place from 7 to 29 May 2022.

Twitter: @brightfest
Instagram: @brightonfestival
Facebook: brightonfestival


unReal City

A new Virtual Reality experiment in collaboration with Access All Areas at Battersea Arts Centre!

Monday 2 March - Saturday 28 March 2020
Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London


Over the past 12 months we have been busy developing several new projects for future production. The first of these, unReal City, has evolved over a series of workshops with artists from Access All Areas and will be presented as a work-in-progress project at BAC.

unReal City is a visual exploration, through Virtual and Mixed Reality*, of how new technology can help or inhibit how we communicate with each other in a world that is increasingly disconnected and virtual.

We're really excited to be presenting the first stage of this project with Access All Areas at BAC. We look forward to seeing you there!

unReal City created by dreamthinkspeak
and Access All Areas.
Commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre.
Developed with the Battersea Arts Centre and supported by the National Theatre
Immersive Storytelling Studio



Deep within a hidden office complex in the city centre, a mysterious new Korean technology company is about to change the way we view the world.

Inspired by the Korean May 1980 Democratic Uprising, ONE DAY, MAYBE conjures a kaleidoscopic dreamscape where live performance, installation and pioneering technology combine to create a vividly dystopian vision of a world spinning thrillingly out of control.

dreamthinkspeak are global pioneers of site-responsive performance, previously taking over a paper factory in Moscow, the Old Treasury Building in Perth, Australia and an underground abattoir in Clerkenwell to create extraordinary and unforgettable audience journeys.

ONE DAY, MAYBE is a site responsive work. Audiences should expect to be amongst a small group of people, walking through the performance in a multi-storey building. The experience will last for approximately 2 hours. Please note, you will be asked to remove your footwear for a short period during your stay with us.

Tickets for ONE DAY, MAYBE are being sold in two batches:

On-Sale 1: 7am, 31 May 2017
One-Sale 2: 28 June 2017

The Future of Creativity

Today at Zealous X Tristan Sharps shares his insights on creating immersive experiences, the evolution of his work from the early 1990’s to now, the influences of other art forms on his practice and how the company goes about creating new pieces of work.

ABSENT to be re-created in Blackpool in 2016

Having performed to great acclaim in 2015, Absent will now be re-created at an extraordinary space in the heart of Blackpool in autumn 2016. We are thrilled to have the opportunity of developing this project and we cannot wait to get started.

Artistic director, Tristan Sharps, said:
I’m really looking forward to my stay in Blackpool and creating ABSENT for a secret and fantastical site at the heart of the town! As always with a dreamthinkspeak project, I will be living in the town during the creation of the show and working closely with large numbers of local residents. I’m really excited to explore and discover how the project will adapt and develop in response to this remarkable town’s past, present and future. I cannot wait to get cracking.

This creation was made possible through the vision and determination of LeftCoast and Blackpool Grand Theatre and an Ambition for Excellence Award from Arts Council England.

We’d like to thank Ruth Eastwood from The Grand and Julia Turpin and Michael Trainor from LeftCoast for all their belief and support.

New Production: Absent

We are creating a new mid-scale installation project, ABSENT, for the basements of Shoreditch Town Hall in London in August. We originally created this project for the IGNITE:09 Festival at the Royal Opera House in 2009. We have always wanted to create a new and fully developed production, so we are really excited about this new opportunity.

The production is partly inspired by The Duchess of Argyll’s residence at a central London hotel in the 1970’s to 1980’s, when she was ejected 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 the maze-like basement of Shoreditch Town Hall, mixing film and architectural installation with a haunting soundtrack. There are no scenes, but as you thread your way through the labyrinthine passageways, you become enmeshed in a constantly shifting dreamscape in which the past, present and future of both the protagonist and the hotel become inextricably linked.


Tristan Sharps: Industry Talks

Artistic Director, Tristan Sharps, has been invited to talk about dreamthinkspeak at this year's Accidental Festival at the Roundhouse in Camden on Friday 23rd May at 2.30pm.

Tristan will be talking about the evolution of his work in the early 1990’s and the formation of dreamthinkspeak in 1999. He will discuss the influences of other art forms on his practice and how the company goes about creating a new piece of work. He will also talk about how the work has evolved over the past 15 years and look ahead to the next stage of dreaming and thinking. Geoff Colman, head of acting at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, will chair the discussion.

Now in its ninth year, the Accidental Festival is a produced entirely by second year students on the Theatre Practice: Performance Arts degree course at the Central.

Tickets for Tristan’s talk are priced at £5.00 (plus booking fee), and are available to book online by clicking on the following link:

Click here - to purchase your tickets.

Alternatively, please call the Roundhouse Box Office on 0844 482 8008.

We look forward to welcoming our friends, followers and supporters to what promises to be an illuminating and inspirational event.


Dear Friends

We are finally home again, having just returned from creating One Day, Maybe in South Korea and Japan. This was an exhilarating and challenging project, inspired by the May 1980 Gwangju uprising, created for three different sites across two countries in the space of six months. For me, it was the culmination of a life changing three years of site visits, design research and workshops - and I am hopeful that the journey will continue in the near future, and that we will re-create One Day, Maybe in the UK.

And now we are about to embark on a brand new programme of work that will completely transform how we create. Interventions will become the research and development engine of our creations: collaborating with artists new to the company; opening up hidden or abandoned sites; exploring new filming and projection techniques; experimenting with different models of audience interaction and navigation; developing the technological tools that are available to all of us, especially open-source technologies.

Interventions will make new connections with new people and push the technical and creative boundaries of our work to the limit, feeding directly into our larger-scale projects.

These experimental investigations will take the form of interactive journeys and embryonic performances, many of which we will make exclusively accessible to our friends and supporters. We will need your feedback to help us navigate the way forward.

More importantly, however, we need your support.

Please help us raise the £30,000 we need towards the production costs for Interventions. Thanks to Catalyst funding, every donation we receive will be doubled by the Arts Council - £5 becomes £10, £10 becomes £20! I am sure you will agree that this really is a unique opportunity to double the value of your contribution towards our future.

To make an SMS donation of £5 or £10 text DREA14 £5 or DREA14 £10 to 70070

If you can afford a larger gift, please follow the link below to make a secure donation via PayPal – you don’t need a PayPal account to use this facility. For any donation of £25.00 or more, we will not only offer you complimentary dreamthinkspeak Membership for one year, we will also invite you to a private performance of one of the first Interventions.

Donate via Paypal

One Day, Maybe

We have just returned from Korea and Japan where we created a new production across three sites in South Korea and Japan with a large cast and crew of Korean and Japanese performers and technicians. Tristan Sharps, who conceived and directed the production, talks about the background to the production.

One Day, Maybe started when I was invited to Gwangju and create a new piece of work. Although I was free to choose the subject of this work, it became clear during my first visit in 2011 that the subject had chosen itself.

The events of May 1980 - when the people of Gwangju who demonstrated in the name of Democracy were killed by paratroopers in the name of the government - are a key part of South Korea’s history.

However, I would never presume to be an expert on the subject of May 1980. My interest is in exploring the world we live in now through the lens of those tragic events.

What if those people who died in 1980 could return as spirits from the dead and step into the shoes of people alive today? What would they make of the world we now live in? Surely they would see a world where Liberty and Democracy have spread rapidly across a range of countries. Or would they?

Over the past two years I have had the privilege of spending a lot of time exploring Gwangju and South Korea. It has been an incredibly rich journey. Everything that I have seen and experienced has had a direct impact on the production: The extraordinary and vibrant Yangdon Market; the eerie and abandoned police station, one of the former provincial government buildings at the heart of the May 1980 uprising; the nearby gymnasium where the bodies of the dead were laid out; the beautiful and unspoiled countryside of the Jeonnam province; the thanksgiving Jesa I was invited to in Seoul that taught me the importance of ancestry in Korean culture; above all, the old cemetery that lies behind the May 18 National Cemetery, where some of those who died in 1980 were originally buried.

There is also the modern, dynamic and rapidly developing Gwangju, fueled by globalization and the need to compete in the global market place: the profusion of western brands; the vast array of café chains; the overwhelming number of clothes shops; the PC Bangs; the bright neon-lit shopping precincts; the music blasting out from shop fronts. All of which melts into a homogeneous landscape of sound and light. We could be in any downtown shopping district anywhere in the world – pulsating and exciting – but where all shops are essentially the same, just with different branding.

Above all, the thing that has made the most impression on me has been the remarkable bravery of the people who gave their lives in 1980 for what they believed in. This production aims to honour those people and all others around the world who have risked their lives for their beliefs.

The production will be re-created in the Japanese cities of our collaborating partners in Kochi and Kanazawa. My travels through Japan have been equally rich and rewarding, with the same key themes equally relevant.

This whole project has been dependent on the many talented artists and technicians from both countries who have worked tirelessly to create the production here in Gwangju and who will continue the journey in Japan. We’d like to thank everyone who has devoted their time and energy in producing this work over the past two years. It has been a unique and ambitious collaboration between different cultures and partners and we are looking forward to the journey continuing in the future.