fringe dates - 24-27 June
Barnstaple's Fringe Theatre Festival

Dream On

Dreamshed Theatre

Dream On throws the spotlight on the darker side of reality TV talent shows – the side that has created victims like Scottish singer Susan Boyle, has encouraged obsessive fantasies in teenagers, has attracted public criticism from those who have succeeded the old-fashioned way such as singing sensation Annie Lennox and has even been linked to one high-profile suicide.

This captivating drama, penned by playwright Bill Cronshaw, presents the fictional case of Sherry Marie Louise Nuttall, the hapless and yet talented tragic heroine, who represents the hundreds of disappointed wannabes that, each year, leave auditions with nothing but their memories.

Sherry falls victim to a ruthless and scheming talent-spotter – Lavinia Fairfax-Forester -who promises her fame and fortune only to take advantage of her showbiz naivety and shame her in front of the world’s audience.

And if all this sounds like a familiar story then it is because author Cronshaw has chosen his subject carefully with the intention of generating public debate on an issue that he has extremely strong views on.

He says: “I find Reality TV talent shows painful to watch. I can’t believe that more people don’t get angry at this mass exploitation of Joe Public. There are hundreds of people in the world who all truly believe they have talent but who actually don’t. And there is no harm in this until someone bigger and more powerful comes along to take advantage of this dream – only to shatter it and the self-esteem of the victim with it.

“This is no less than bullying!

“I know that many contestants of such shows do enjoy success on the back of their 15 minutes of TV fame and that’s all well and good but along the way many more people are treated like circus side-shows – laughed at by millions on a Saturday night.

“I felt it was about time someone shone a light on this mass-deception. In Dream On Sherry is one of these hopefuls – but she is a victim of her own naivety and ends up both literally and metaphorically raped by the show hostess who promises her the world.”

comedy-drama
age 16+
(contains adult scenes and language)
65 mins

www.dreamshedtheatre.co.uk