The Dreamer


 European Premier

Gecko artists working alongside Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre have created an original story inspired by the dreams of William Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu.

Employing Gecko’s trademark style, associate director Rich Rusk and devising performer Chris Evans (The Overcoat, Missing, Institute, The Time of Your Life, The Wedding) blend emotionally driven movement, a spine tingling soundscape and striking visual storytelling to bring a new twist to these classic texts, performed by a Chinese cast. With design by Rhys Jarman, lighting design by Chris Swain and original music by Dave Price. 

Created as part of the British Council’s 2016 Shakespeare Lives programme, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the show is inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As an additional celebration of this unique collaboration between China and the UK, the production is also influenced by The Peony Pavilion written by Shakespeare’s Chinese contemporary Tang Xianzu.

Winner of the prestigious 2016 One Drama award China for Best Stage Design.


“Its flowing beauty depicts a poetic landscape…When you lower your head, you immediately fall into it, just like Alice falls into the rabbit-hole. What you see and what you experience in it goes beyond your imagination.”
Shanghai audience member, 2016.   

“An amazing show! For its unique performing style, distinct stage designing and music, The Dreamer has become the most impressive show I’ve ever watched so far!”
Shanghai audience member, 2016.

Creative Team

Director: Rich Rusk
Movement Director: Chris Evans
Producer: Rosalind Wynn

With performers from Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre:
Liu Peng/Lan Haimeng, Yang Zi Yi, Wu Jing Wei, Zhao Yun Long, Zhou Zi Dan, Wang Wei Shuai, Yang Jing Ran, Li Chen Shan

Musician: Ni Peiwen

Design: Rhys Jarman 
Lighting Design: Chris Swain 
Original Music: Dave Price
Technical Stage Manager: Andres Velasquez
Assistant Director: Fang Ge

For Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre:

Executive Producer: Shaolin Yang
Artistic Director: Lv Liang
Producer: Wu Jia
Associate Producer: Shi Tang
Supervisor: Tian Shui
Translator: Lin Qian
Dramaturg: Yu Rongjun
Stage Designer: Sang Qi

Lighting Operator: Wang Beijun
Sound Operator: Wang Yixuan
Stage Manager: Luo Jixin
Costume & Make Up Designer: Leng Jia
Setting Designer: Cui Haigang
Prop Designer: Liu Yiping
Logistician: Chen Longqing
Publicity Manager: Zhao Yangxiang
Casting Director: Lu Renjie
Assistant Stage Manager: Sheng Ruoyu

Tour Dates


2nd – 15th August
Pleasance Grand | Edinburgh Festival Fringe | Edinburgh, UK
Click here to book tickets


Gecko is supported by Arts Council England and Ipswich Borough CouncilThe Dreamer is a Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and Gecko co-production, commissioned by the British Council a part of the Shakespeare Lives programme.

SDAC LOGO white Primary Inverse Pink grant_png_white An image of the Ipswich Borough Council logo.