Life is a Dream

Life is a Dream is an extraordinary mixture of high adventure, comedy, love, intrigue, philosophy and morality all wrapped in an astonishing web of words.

Life is a Dream

About Life is a Dream

A Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh production.

LIFE IS A DREAM
By Pedro Calderón
Translated by Jo Clifford
Directed by Wils Wilson

“Welcome, child. Child of the theatre. Child of the theatre of the world. We are going to tell your story.”

Following a prophecy that he is destined to become a tyrant, Prince Sigismund is imprisoned in a remote tower at birth. On reaching adulthood, he is released for one day as an experiment and emerges to discover a new and intensely confusing world, and a reality completely other to his own. The overwhelming experience provokes a tailspin of greed, resentment and anger that sees him quickly sedated and re-incarcerated, convinced by his jailors that his day of freedom was all just a dream…

Originally conceived to delight a whole populace - everyone from Philip of Spain to the poorest of his subjects, Life is a Dream is an extraordinary mixture of high adventure, comedy, love, intrigue, philosophy and morality all wrapped in an astonishing web of words that invite us to approach the world anew in appreciation and wonder.

Calderon’s classic of the Spanish Golden Age was due to be staged in May 2020, and while we have all been locked down, its exploration of what is real, what it means to be awake and what stories we believe have all acquired new layers of meaning and urgency.

Life is a Dream is the favourite play of celebrated Scottish playwright Jo Clifford (Faust Part 1 & 2, Anna Karenina at The Lyceum; Eve at National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre). Her lucid adaptation was a smash hit at the 1997 Edinburgh International Festival and this season it will return to The Lyceum in all its riotous and fantastical glory.

Lyceum Associate Artist Wils Wilson (Wind Resistance, Cockpit, Twelfth Night at The Lyceum) will stage the performance in the round, welcoming theatre back to The Lyceum stage in its purest from - an immediate human experience in a shared space, it will be a celebration of everything we have been missing about live theatre.

“I’ve rarely come across a play that so brilliantly combines profound ideas, neat plotting and blazing dramatic passion.” The Telegraph

This production has been made possible through the support of James and Morag Anderson and originally developed with support from the Stephen W Dunn Theatre Fund.

#LifeIsADream

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