Deja Vu Ensemble’s ‘A Dream Play’ Is An Experience You’ll Want To Repeat Again And Again

Georgina Jones | 20th July 2015

Deja Vu

A play written in 1901 by Swedish playwright August Strindberg doesn’t sound like it’s going to be very interesting or relevant for the millennial market. But when Deja Vu Ensemble started their performance with a literal bang – by throwing their lead actress out of a moving car into the queue waiting to get into Nexus Art Cafe – there was nothing but excitement shown by everyone involved.

The interactive piece doesn’t just take advantage of the unique space of Nexus Art Cafe but the audience within. During the play we got pushed out of the way, made to dance, flirted with and shouted at. It wasn’t the kind of forced interactions from the world of panto, that leave you uncomfortable and awkward, instead it kept the audience (literally) on our toes.

Although the scenes were overwhelmingly full of fun – from a naked man bathing in books to a squirrelly dinner lady sticking post it notes to everything and everyone, from a west country fisherman with a knitted beard to a Victorian seaside show set in hell – there was still a seriousness kept throughout. Actors remained committed to their characters, even when the audience couldn’t stop giggling and reacted and bounced off of the attention of their fellow actors and the audience. The levels of professionalism were not just impressive, but a key component to making the play work. With something so surreal, the entire team has to be completely committed to the story in order to sell it.

dream play

Behind the ridiculousness were some deep philosophical questions that have echoed all the way from 1901 to still be relevant in 2015. Why do people have to suffer? Why do babies cry? Why is being human so shit? It would be easy enough to be distracted by the surreal nature of the play and the setting, but the meaningful (and meaningless) questions posed by the play aren’t lost amongst the madness, but are highlighted by them.

The Deja Vu Ensemble is an exciting, new theatre company looking to explore site-specific, improvised and devised work. Their fresh take on performance is inspiring and we can’t wait to see what else they have to give over the next few years.

A Dream Play has been put on as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, which runs until the end of July.

dream play 2

Further Information:


Facebook / Twitter