The heavens were right to take away my freedom.
If I was free I’d pulverise this mountain
and use the rubble to build a staircase of stone.
I’d climb to the heavens and violate them.
I’d shatter the stars.
Twenty-one years ago, after receiving a dire astrological prediction, the king imprisoned his son in a mountain cave. Now, facing a crisis of succession, the king releases his son and orders the court to convince the young man that his incarceration was all a dream. With this radical treatment of a classic text, the audience are given an intensely voyeuristic experience of brute survival, the fragile interconnection between siblings, the deepest need for mothering and the dark struggle for love and power.
“Life is a Dream was a rich, difficult production, infuriating to some and unforgettable to most. The complexity of its aesthetic sensibility made it, for me, one of the most rewarding experiences of the year. Schlusser stripped back Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s 15th-century play to a raw core of power relationships and plot mechanics, then had a cast of bedraggled wastrels act out this excoriated drama as an infernal punishment. “
John Bailey, RealTime
“I thought it remarkable and beautiful theatre. Life is a Dream is one of the most successful explorations I’ve seen of the poetic connections between imagined realities both on stage and off. Although I’m not sure whether “success” or “failure” are appropriate words here: this is one of those works which makes such terms feel wholly redundant. I’m glad I was there.”
Alison Croggon, Theatrenotes
George Banders, Brendan Barnett, Johnny Carr, Andrew Dunn, Julia Grace, Sophie Mathisen, Vanessa Moltzen, Sarah Ogden, and Josh Price
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Special Make-Up Effects
Sarah Ernst for Daniel Schlusser Ensemble at The Store Room
November 20, 2009