Saga (3 stars)

This article is from 2019


A surreal but poignant interpretation of Strindberg's A Dream Play

When August Strindberg wrote A Dream Play in 1901 he was reportedly recovering from a near-psychotic episode. Stones Theatre's 60-minute adaptation of this Swedish play stays close to the border between sanity and madness too. Performed in English and Swedish, the audience never fully understands what is going on. There's a refuse collector with a clown nose, and a brush that turns into a dog …

But the theme is simple enough. The child of a god descends to earth to root out the source of humanity's unhappiness. Her hopefulness and innocence slowly diminishes as she discovers all the unfathomable paradoxes of human existence.

Not the cheeriest story line, but the actors do well to highlight the ridiculous hypocrisy in today's world. And they often do it with humor; the audience laughs along to a couple of youths who speak passionately of how they will pressure the government to tackle climate change, all whilst drinking from Starbucks coffee cups.

The play becomes increasingly confusing to the detriment of character integrity. There's some good insight to the ridiculousness of modern day humans, but just maybe not enough to fill an hour.

Greenside @ Nicolson Square, until 24 Aug (not 18), times vary, £7 (£5).


  • 3 stars

Stones Theatre Company A 60-minute English and Swedish adaptation of August Strindberg's A Dream Play, at a time where the property ladder is near impossible to climb, vloggers are worshipped and millennials are buckling under debt racked up from years of education. Think Alice in Wonderland tumbling through Black Mirror.