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Life's A Dream - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

Life's A Dream

John Barton, Calderon de la Barca, Adrian Mitchell

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

5m, 2f

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Description | Characters | Author(s)

Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

 Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote, "Life's a Dream, the Calderón metaphysical masterpiece, is one of the finest fruits of the 17th-century golden age of Spanish drama … an ever pertinent play about the power of free will … seen at the Royal Shakespeare Company in a version both magical and lucid, playing to turn-away crowds. Rather than take the easy way out with a prose version, the adapters rewrote the play in English verse—serving the work's comic and tragic needs with a variety of forms including iambic pentameter, full frontal rhyme and ballads." "The action concerns the Polish King's incarceration of his son, Sigismund, who the omens say will prove a tyrant. In a controlled experiment, Sigismund becomes prince for a day, justifies the prophecies and is shunted back into his tower; only after he persuades himself that all that has passed is a dream, the young prince re-emerges to take over the kingdom and learn to rule wisely. Intertwined with this is the story of a Muscovite woman, Rosaura, who comes to Poland to avenge herself on her father and her lover, and who likewise learns the power of magnanimity and kindness … a masterpiece about time, fate, love, honor, death and the illusory nature of existence." (Michael Billington, The Guardian) Area staging.


5m, 2f

John Barton

John Barton

John Barton was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge and while at Cambridge directed and acted in many productions for the Marlowe Society and the ADC. In 1960, along with Sir Peter Hall, he co-founded the Royal Shakespeare Company where Barton was an active director for over 40 years. He has directed over 50 productions on his own or as a collaborator with Hall and Trevor Nunn. ... view full profile

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