Artists in Exile, I Dream of a Window

Review in Issue 14-3 | Autumn 2002

Artists in Exile, founded by theatre-maker Caryne Chapman Clark, is a London-based collective of professional artists from around the world. Most were forced to flee their homelands and thus ‘rendered voiceless and powerless’ – many were victims of torture or other forms of extreme oppression.

I Dream of a Window is a collaboratively devised theatre piece directed by Clark and based on the writings of Syrian poet Ghias Aljundi. It bears the mark of the experiences of the writer and company members – yet still presents a picture of the power of the human spirit to soar above physical and psychic abuse. Particularly strongly realised are the visual design of the piece – with its beautifully simple use of projection and frame structures – and the choreography from movement director LouLou Omer, who creates patterns of harmony and discord, unity and separation from her ensemble of four actors. Live music is always a wonderful bonus in a theatre production – and the guitar here is the perfect choice.

Less well realised is the spoken text – for though it is obvious that the words are powerful and often disturbingly beautiful the performers seem unsure of whether to deliver them as actor, poet or storyteller. My inclination would have been to deconstruct the written text – take away the preciousness but keep the power by re-allocating the words to different points in the action or different characters, perhaps taking advantage of the multi-national cast to use languages other than English in the performance.

Although not a perfect piece of theatre, I Dream of a Window is a profound and deeply moving production.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2002

This article in the magazine

Issue 14-3
p. 27