The Dreamer
(China)

THE DREAMER, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in association with Gecko, is Gecko’s first international co-production. The show is inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Peony Pavilion, the work of his contemporary, Tang Xianzu (1550-1616).

Ipswich-based physical theatre company Gecko celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a new associate show as part of British Council’s Shakespeare Lives. The Dreamer premiered in China in October 2016 winning Best Stage Design – 2016 One Drama Awards, China. The European Premiere is August at the Pleasance Grand in Edinburgh.

The prestigious Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre in China has teamed up with Gecko to stage a new piece of work – THE DREAMER – inspired by two playwrights considered the most influential in their respective countries: William Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu.
Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre is the only national performing arts company in Shanghai. Famous for its new Chinese-language dramas, as well as performing English-language classics in Chinese, its impressive team of actors, directors, writers and other creatives works across various venues in the French Quarter of the city. This is the company’s Fringe debut and the first time theensemble has worked using physical theatre techniques.

Gecko is an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed physical theatre company, led by Artistic Director Amit Lahav, established in 2001. In 2016 it won the Peter Brook Equity Ensemble Award and this production sees ensemble members Rich Rusk and Chris Evans lead in the creation of an associate show for the first time. 2016 marked not only the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death but also that of his Chinese contemporary, Tang Xianzu. Dreams were a leitmotiv for both writers and THE DREAMER reimagines a dream sequence, inspired by The Peony Pavilion and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Focusing on strong female characters within both plays and exploring the topics of magic, humor and love in classic Gecko style, the show blends emotionally driven movement, a spine-tingling soundscape and striking visual storytelling to bring a new twist to these classic works.

“An amazing show! For its unique performing style, distinct stage design and music, The Dreamer is the most impressive show I’ve ever watched!”

Created by Gecko’s associate director Rich Rusk and devising performer Chris Evans (Gecko’s: The Overcoat, Missing, Institute, TheTime of your Life, The Wedding), The Dreamer is an international collaboration between Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and Gecko, created as part of British Council’s 2016 Shakespeare Lives programme. The Dreamer premiered in October at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and ran through the Shanghai International Performing Arts Festival in 2016.

Amit Lahav, Artistic Director said: “Gecko has been touring to China since 2010 and audiences in the country are very fond of the company. It was extremely exciting to work on our first international co-production with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and their ensemble.
Rich Rusk and Chris Evans have been working with Gecko for 15 years between them and I’m thrilled to see them take the lead on this very exciting international collaboration.”

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