Land Without Dreams is a one-woman show about the future. Well, to be accurate, it’s about what the future can be.
Delivered piping-hot from the stylish Copenhagen company, Fix&Foxy, this production is its London debut.
The performer, Temi plays a woman from the future who travels back to our present day to tell us the good, bad, and ugly of our future. And the key phrase here is ‘our future’.
The joy at the heart of this piece is that it does what so few shows are brave enough to do – it hands power directly to the audience. It reminds us that we are in control; that we have the power to change our future; that our collective force is stronger than fear.
Temi narrates through the past, present, and future. We are taken on a winding, absorbing journey through this imagination of the future that is in equal parts glorious and frightening. We are told of worlds that are devoid of anxiety, worry, and panic. We are told there is better to come.
The piece, at is core, demands courage from us. And that’s not because there are Quentin Tarantino-esque fight sequences – although don’t worry, Temi, I bet you’d look pretty cute in a yellow leather suit. Or because it makes us face up to parts of ourselves we don’t want to (well, maybe there’s a little of that…)
No, it’s because it asks us to hope.
But how do you approach this task? How do you tell the story of a world that does not yet exist?
Week 1 started with a bang:
Jam-filled donuts…pink nail polish…and Britney Spears.
What more could you want?!
We started rehearsals as all rehearsal processes do: with a group of slightly excited-nervous-chatty people, going round in a circle introducing themselves. And with a one woman show, that doesn’t last very long!
The approach of our Director, Lise, has been holistic and nurturing from the outset. As a performer herself, she has cultivated a warmth and openness in the rehearsal room that has been a joy to work in.
Our first task was breaking down the script. Going through the script scene by scene, we identified which characters were speaking at different parts and their motivations. Then, as we stuck up each page of the script in the rehearsal room, we began categorising sections of the play, figuring out the emotional threads through which the play functions.
And as we were working, it dawned on us: we are living in the ‘land without dreams’.The land without dreams is our land; the land we tread on as we are squeezed in the bustle of the London commute; the land so fervently protected from the threat of outsiders; the land we so easily believe cannot be saved.
This ‘land without dreams’ is our land. And our Leading Lady, complex and flawed as she is, is here to change that.
This piece is a thought experiment, offering the audience a richness of ideas over which to ruminate. It is not a lecture. It is not a damning indictment of our failures.
It is an exercise of imagination. We are asked to imagine the future; to imagine a better world; and to imagine courage. It is a reminder that we are not at the mercy of fate. That beauty, joy, and kindness lie ahead. All we have to do now is imagine.
Come on down to the Gate…and dare to imagine with us.
By Sara Malik, Assistant Director and MGCfutures bursary recipient 2019.
Land Without Dreams is on at the Gate Theatre from 14 Nov – 7 Dec. Book now.