You Can’t Review That: Last Night’s Dream

No doubt open to multiple interpretations, the whole production was enthralling during the show itself but although the moral of this story seemed profound immediately after it finished, the effect wore off through the day and was already waning as I recounted it to my housemate over breakfast.

The dream opened with the fairly hackneyed setting of a classroom in my high school, the director taking the bold choice to have the protagonist naked in this scene. From there the scene transitions were fluid and the narrative shifted seamlessly from one location and set of cast members to another.

The set-designer and artistic director deserve credit for producing a fairly faithful reconstruction of the house I grew up in, although I don’t recall my home having one room off the kitchen that becomes the bedroom of my ex-girlfriend, only after I follow the boyhood version of my now adult next-door neighbour inside.

Was this surrealist imagery a comment on the baseless nature of our morality, following a century of war and misguided political ideology? or was it a consequence of the the reduced information flow between my hippocampus and neocortex, resulting in illogical linkages between disparate memories?

The horrifying vignette in which my teeth fell out, although a bit of a cliche, was genuinely disturbing and the penultimate scene was an hilarious farce wherein the car I tried to use wouldn’t start and I decided instead to run jelly-legged to the HSC exam I was missing.

The show ended with a superb, almost Brechtian device, incorporating a song from my clock-radio alarm into the narrative of the dream, allowing me some tantalising moments of lucidity before waking up.

Most of the characters, however, were inconsistent or just facile; they were either morphing avatars representing my own unresolved family issues or paper-thin, coquettish versions of women I know and am now more attracted to as a result.

Other dreams have been far more successful. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opium dream produced the virtuosic poem, “Kubla Khan”; Salvadore Dali’s yielded a whole new art movement; Jung’s dreams contained a veritable tarot deck of archetypal figures of cosmic significance; and Daniel’s cycle of prophetic dreams included God as a main character and foretold the apocalypse. In comparison, my exiguous narrative of minutiae from my daily life and petty, unresolved sexual desires seems somewhat banal.

More successful than Martin Luther King Jr’s dream, three stars.

This article originally appeared in Woroni in 2011.

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