3 Dark Tales

(theatre O - Barbican/World Tour)

3 DARK TALES / Barbican and International Touring

‘Vivid and enlightening, inventive and compelling theatre’
The New York Times

‘More visual inventiveness, hilarity and energy
than seems humanly possible’
Time Out

‘theatre O had me lost in admiration’
The Times

‘This is an absolutely terrific show...the brilliance and ingenuity makes it quite simply outstanding.
The Scotsman

‘A vibrant theatricality. These tales may be dark in theme but they’re theatrically luminous’
The Independent

‘The sort of theatre you long for’
The Observer

1st Tale: Dream on Mr Tibble

Those of us oppressed by floral aprons, battered black brief cases and the spiked heal of a wife’s stiletto, often don’t realise that all it takes to feel alive is to react a little, or a lot, to life around us. Dream on Mr Tibble is about the realisation that we are all capable of responding to the events that shape our existence. It’s about the possibility of making each day different from the next. It’s about understanding what others expect from you and daring to question whether this is right or wrong. It’s about facing the everyday monsters that spit fire. It’s about imagination and how to use it. Spoken in an invented language that everyone understands, drawing on the cartoon dimension in all our lives and set against outrageous wallpaper, Dream on Mr Tibble turns losers into urban heroes, oppressors into suburban jokes and everyday life into a symphonic and overwhelming empowerment of the imagination.

2nd Tale: The Unfortunate Predicament of Amelia Sas

Born to fulfil her parent’s dreams, raised at the dining room table and with a life divided into five year plans, Amelia struggles for air and dives into life, hoping that it’s not too late. Sharing her apartment with her goldfish, Antigone, and the voices on the answer machine, she dreams of being Maria Callas and craves more from life than the ‘ping’ of her microwave. A visit to the doctor turns her world upside down. She is thrown into despair, anguish, confusion and desire. She realises that the heart is not only an organ that keeps us alive, but is also a beat that needs to be listened to. The Unfortunate Predicament of Amelia Sas is about silent lives and the noise that we all carry inside. It’s about the hope of one day turning that noise into music. It’s about realising that we also have the right to hate our parents, and that the most beautiful and meaningful things don’t just come from around the corner, but also from ourselves.

3rd Tale: Frank's Wardrobe

Forty years into his life Frank finds himself with a family that’s too big and a house that’s getting smaller by the day. The family was already too big when it was just him and his wife, Dawn; but then he’d already been married to his job for years. By day his story is one of tyrannical power and self-congratulation, by night he seethes with bitterness… until… His children (“Dawn, who is this?”, “That’s Lisa, Frank, your daughter”), and his wife (“WHEN YOU COME BACK WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE HERE!!!”), leave him with an empty fridge, a goodbye note and house as silent as the grave. Frank falls like a rotten apple defeated by gravity. With no real friends to moan to and no family to scream at, Frank is left with nothing but his memories, fears and the mess in his kitchen; and of course with the certainty that if you do not dare to live the life you’ve chosen you have no right to live at all. Weak, selfish, lonely and with just one potato left, hope and death fight for supremacy in this pathetic little man. There can be only one winner. Or can there?

Assistant Director - Lucinka Eisler
Choreographer - Eva Vilamitjana
Designer (illustration) - Tom McWalter
Designer (lighting) - Sarah Coxon
Designer (set/costume) - Isla Shaw
Designer (sound) - Joseph Alford
Director - Joseph Alford
Devisers/Performers - Carolina Valdés, Joseph Alford, Lucien MacDougall, Sarah Coxon
Producer - Joseph Alford & Michael Brazier (Glynis Henderson Productions)
Stage Manager - Joni Carter
Writers - The Company and Jon Rand