Monday, 25 July 2016

A Dream of Dramaturgy: David Shopland @ Edfringe 2016

A Dream of Dying

Written by Treasa Nealon

Performed by Lawrence Boothman


5th-27th August 2016 -17.15pm

The SpaceUK @ Surgeon's Hall

A Dream of Dying - Dramaturgy Database

In 2009, Peter Bergmann washed up on a beach in Ireland. This is not his real name. He did not live there. No one ever came to claim him. In this moving true story, he finally gets a voice...

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. When the body washed ashore, a long exploration began to attempt to identify the stranger -an investigation that remains unsolved.

Treasa Nealon has created a poignant, funny, and heartbreaking piece of writing charting the voyage of Peter Bergmann from birth to death. Lawrence Boothman breathes life into this solo performance, portraying dozens of characters in the space of an hour. A Dream of Dying is set to be one of the most unmissable experiences of the Fringe.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
Treasa Nealon wrote the play based on a true story from 2009, of a still-unidentified body that washed ashore in Sligo, Ireland

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
Fake Escape has a core group of creatives and performers that we work with regularly across different productions

How did you become interested in making performance?
I have grown up around theatre (my grandfather was an actor and my father worked for Methuen Drama) and have always wanted to create work as long as I can remember

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
Essentially: We received the initial play as a short 20 minute piece that we included as part of a new writing festival. Given an overwhelming positive reaction from reviews and audience alike, we asked Treasa to expand the play to 55 minutes ready for the festival. As it is a one man show, we have been rehearsing sporadically over the last few months, including a preview show in London.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I hope they experience both a moving and witty hour of beautiful new writing that engages both their emotions and intellect

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
As a director, one of the luxuries of working with a solo performer is you are able to become incredibly detailed with every single nuance, word, breath etc. By taking our time and really discussing each second of action, we were able to shape the journey for the audience meticulously.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
I would say the piece is a fairly naturalistic piece of new dramatic writing, given it being a one man show there is considerable 4th wall breaking, but in terms of the content of the piece it lies more in the traditional theatre camp than experimental.

Fake Escape is a not for profit creative venture created by David Shopland, Matthew Grace and Lewis Oatley in 2013. Through the annual 20:20 Vision New Writing project, we are able to uncover voices within the next generation of playwrights aged 18 –30; giving a public platform to writers who otherwise may be remain unheard. 

Through our arts collective, we aim to provide resources across a range of performance outlets, again for creative artists in the formative stages of their careers. In 2016 Fake Escape expanded to produce exciting new work across many different sectors of the performance spectrum.

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