Arts & Entertainment


Unpathed Theatre Company will stage a production of The Dreamer Examines His Pillow by Pulitzer-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley. A dark comedy set in the 1980s New York neighbourhood of the Bronx, it explores love with a warts-and-all ethos.

The play tells the story of the all-consuming relationship between Donna and Tommy, and mulls over who decides when and how it is appropriate to love one another. Lead actress Ainslie Clouston says the role of Donna’s father, the third and final character, is to explore how “without even realising it we are taking on our parents’ relationship battle scars.”

The Dreamer Examines His Pillow’s portrayal of love is often described as unusual and dysfunctional for the way it brutally dissects the rose-tinted love story archetype. This is why Clouston thinks it is a story worth telling.

“I love this play because it’s coming from such a place of truth, because this is what happens in relationships behind closed doors,” she says.

“Yes, love is dysfunctional, and yes, love is scary, but you have to plunge into it to find out if it’s wrong, and learn. We can’t just sit back and wait for this perfect person, we have to jump in and make huge mistakes. That’s why [this play] is important.” (HC)

Dec 10-21, TAP Gallery Upstairs Theatre, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, $25-30,

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