Dream Plays (Scenes from a Play I’ll Never Write): My Loneliness is Killing Me

Alan Wilkins
Traverse 2

Alan Wilkins has constricted his Dream Play around an idea drawn not from Shakespeare or the bible but Britney Spears.

The construction of this piece for three actors is also out of the ordinary. It lacks a direct narrative thread and replaces this with a series of exercises around the central theme of isolation today.

After initial introductions to three characters, a poetess played by Ashley Smith, a loser, Steven McNicoll and a stinking rich banker, Gabriel Quigley, nothing is predictable.

Under the direction of David Greig, there are games, flipcharts, unopened cans of ravioli and even musical accompaniment, as we discover the views of a wide selection of people today about loneliness.

At no point does Wilkins make his sources apparent so this could be Verbatim Theatre or merely his own views voiced through the mouths of actors.

The rapidity can be somewhat disorientating but in under 45 minutes the topic is explored in great detail and thankfully with humour, as otherwise it would be easy for all present to become desperately depressed.

The closing scenes can summarise the dreamy whimsy as first our leading politicians make contributions (leading to a brilliant Michael Gove joke just as he hits the headlines caught out misleading the public) and then the actors get up close and personal with their ravioli cans.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher

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