A Dream of Dying (3 stars)

This article is from 2016

A Dream of Dying

Accomplished storytelling in a poignant story of suicide

This solo performance is based on the true story of a man who was discovered washed up on a beach in Sligo, Ireland in 2009. Investigators discovered that he had checked into a local hotel under a false name and spent his last days depositing his worldly possessions into public bins. He has never been identified.

A Dream of Dying meets the unknown man as a student in his last year of university as he reflects back on his formative years and fantasies his ideal future. Actor Lawrence Boothman is an accomplished storyteller, his expressive face switching convincingly from childhood glee to tender anguish while his practised comic timing complements Treasa Nealon's witty script. Strong eye contact and occasional steps from the stage draw the audience into a poignant story about the pressure to master your own fate rather than 'let life happen'.

The childhood anecdotes are tightly written but the script isn't as strong in the latter half, with some of the switches between the young and the older man less clear. Overall, Fake Escape Theatre presents a moving performance that handles the complex issue of suicide without judgement or simplification.

theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall, until 27 Aug (not 14, 21), 5.15pm, £11 (£9).

A Dream of Dying

  • 3 stars

Fake Escape Theatre A Dream of Dying centres on the unbelievable real life tale of a man who has never been identified. Using CCTV footage and interviews with local residents, the police pieced together a bizarre story of his final hours; buying envelopes that were never posted, giving fake addresses to hotels, disposing…