I’d booked to see a play – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – at the theatre I used to work at. But whereas the real venue is in a modern building, this one was a tall Victorian edifice with a steep rake on each of the four tiers.
I’d been keen enough that I came to see the show on my own – maybe it was last minute, maybe no-one else had been available – and I expected to feel fairly at home anyway since I knew the theatre and some of the staff there. But I hadn’t been sent a ticket, only a reference number to my phone, and when I got to the entrance to the upper gallery, I couldn’t find any trace of email or text from the theatre. I kept telling the usher – a young, cynical guy with a curling lip – that I’d seen it on my phone immediately before I left the house, that I had paid, that I used to work here. My anger was rising (an anger I recognise well from real life, any time I feel I’m being patronised, disrespected, talked down to or blocked by bureaucracy). A group of school children in their early teens and private school uniforms – green and black kilts on the girls, blazers – were lined up at the other entrance just feet away from me, and I felt them and their teachers waiting to judge me if I showed my anger or tried to demand on being let in.
The literal background for this one was that I had tried to book tickets to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at the Old Vic in London, with K, to find that they were almost sold out and the few remaining would cost, if not your firstborn, then at least some small person to whom you were vaguely attached. But I wasn’t angered by not being able to get oltickets. Fair enough, I should have got onto it as soon as I heard the show was premiering. Somewhere else in my life – or in a lot of aspects of life – there is a recurrent, simmering anger that things are being made difficult for me somehow.
I’ve been to this dream-theatre before, I think, and looked from the entrance to the grand circle or gallery, down towards the stage. But the floor has been absent, there was only water or a sheer drop beneath me. I think I’ve been due either to perform there or to work as an usher, and haven’t been able to get from one part of the theatre to another.
In this dream, after being turned away by the first usher I spoke to, I saw one of the duty managers I used to know, who said she might be able to sneak me in if I waited til the show had just started. But I found myself walking through dark corridors not being able to find my way back to the auditorium. As I recall that, I’m reminded of a dream I had just under a year ago, when I was performing in a far larger show than I’ve done in real life…but more about that in another blog.
I’d organised group tickets to see a dance performance, at a theatre I used to work in. This show was the latest full-length piece by a small contemporary dance company who I’d seen a few times over the years, and I told a bunch of my friends they needed to see it.
Sibling and I rocked up to the theatre, which had been refurbished and parts of it rebuilt since I was last there. There was now a long, straight corridor with the bar area to our right as we went in, and to the left, the smallest of their auditoria, where the dance company would perform. No-one else from our group was there yet; I said I’d skip to the bathroom and Sibling offered to get the drinks in while I was there. When I asked if a glass of prosecco could possibly be obtained (I don’t know why since there are better drinks than prosecco) he pointed out it was two-for-one so he may as well get me a flute for each hand.
The corridor leading to the ladies’ toilets seemed to keep extending and gaining extra turns and sub-areas leading off it. I wasn’t worried about making it, but about getting back in time; having arrived well before my friends, I knew that by now they would be here and wondering where I was, and Sibling would be left to fend for himself with, presumably, four drinks but no company to share them.
I was getting increasingly fretful as I tried to find my way back to the auditorium; the tickets for my entire group were in my pocket so if the theatre wasn’t admitting latecomers, Sibling and all my friends would miss out too. I felt anger rising to near-hysteria; why was the theatre layout so irrational, why were they hindering me?
At last a friendly, young woman ushered me in; the seating area was kind of sunken into the floor. L and A, friends of about ten years, waved to get my attention. Sibling and the others were there. I sat inbetween my ex and my recent-current, and almost immediately I wanted to hold hands with each of them on either side; I felt I couldn’t take either one’s hand without the other feeling left out.
It’s only when writing this dream up (as has often happened since I started wtfsubconscious) that I spot a connection between the two glasses of prosecco and the two lovers (ex and current). The dominant emotions in the dream were anxiety and frustration, and that extends to the two-of-each situation. Sibling buys me two drinks, but then we’re separated so I can’t actually have them. Two men have (or have had) romantic feelings for me, but I’m too anxious about the potential consequences to relax with this. In waking life, I know that I do have a fear that “you can’t have everything,” or that seeking “too much of a good thing” will end badly for me. At times, that fear has been pretty paralysing. At present, I’ve been trying to ignore it but this dream seems to let me know the anxiety is still there.
How about you, readers? Have you had similar dreams to this one, and what did you make of them?