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The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man


The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man

at Marylebone Theatre, London

“ is, dare I say it, beige.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky was a Russian novelist towards the end of the 19th-Century, famous for such works as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. Amongst his shorter stories is The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man, about an ordinary man who finally realises that nothing matters so decides to shoot himself. Beforehand, he falls asleep and has a dream which, upon waking, has changed his view of the world and life as a whole. In the story, he tells us of his vision for the future.

Billed as a ‘thought-provoking yet hilarious exploration of human nature’, sadly the play sets itself up for a fall. It stumbles through far too many genres and styles like a tipsy drinker weaving through tables and chairs whilst heading for the bar…

But there is much to like! It’s a one-man show, calmly performed by Greg Hicks. He is assisted by a wonderful armoury of lighting and sound effects, along with original music and graceful choreography.

Herein lies its weakness - the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ comes to mind. So much artistry is thrown in with so little coherence that it dilutes the message and dulls the sharpness of the point of the production, which must surely be the short story upon which it is based. It lacks the urgency which the man’s vision deserves. After all, he is trying to tell us something he believes to be important, to keep us listening, to persuade us… the whole feel is one of cosiness and safety - there’s no shock or peril, very little variation of dark and light… it is, dare I say it, beige.

It may gain some edge as the run continues. I really do hope so, because there is so much quality on show here.

Photography Mark Senior

Writer/Director Laurence Boswell

Designer Loren Elstein

Lighting Designer Ben Ormerod

Sound Designer Gary Sefton

Movement Director Gary Sefton

Composer Harrison White

Running Time 75 minutes - no interval

Dates until Saturday 20th April 2024

Check with the theatre for show times

Venue Marylebone Theatre, 35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT

Box Office Tickets are £26.50 and available from: 

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Twitter @MaryleboneTHLDN

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