It’s about an island, a town and it's people.
It’s our response to the state of the world and it’s imminent collapse.
It’s about the kaleidoscope of competing narratives of who we are.
It is a love song.
Nigel & Louise spent 4 years researching and writing this show. At a time of momentous change in the town, in the country, in the world, they talked to the people of Margate, scribbled down overheard conversations, trawled the internet and scoured local papers. They assembled these voices into an epic poem that they performed live with synth/punk/rockers AK/DK. They never knew who would say which line, the music was improvised, the show was different every night.
Lighting and video design by Richard Williamson
Videography and Photography by Inigo Alcaniz
“The poem-cum-song explores the life of the town, the people in it, and the things they say over the course of a year. The writing is exemplary, and the focus on the inhabitants and their voices is where it excels. Once again Nigel & Louise push the boundaries of live performance.” Charlotte Irwin A Younger Theatre
“Margate/Dreamland is an intense and fearless rumination on the shape shifting town of Margate, told to a kaleidoscopic soundscape provided by synth-magicians AK/DK. It’s an hour of high-octane performance that doesn’t stop for breath. Performers Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari discharge intensifying, fracturing narratives about the town as it shifts through the seasons, slumping from summer into forgotten winter and re-emerging, vibrant but irrevocably changed. Their words pour forth from music stands like a discordant symphony, a collision of tweets and quotes and vitriolic conversations that whirl from the poetic to the unintelligible, the proud to the disdainful and right back again, shattering every perspective on the town it’s possible to gather. It’s contradictory and complicated and harrowing and celebratory – your head spins with the sheer scope of the thing.
When I first stumbled out of the theatre into the still-bright night, it felt odd that a piece of art so clearly fuelled by love could bristle with such anger, but of course it does. It’s through a love of the place that the anger comes, rumbling and roaring like the sea itself. Margate/Dreamland cannot make sense of or resolve the trauma of a neglected seaside town’s sudden gentrification, its stagnant job opportunities or its disillusioned working class, but it can enshrine their voices in a tapestry of unrelenting sound, it can paint the beautiful alongside the wretched, it can turn up the volume until we’re forced to listen.”
Gillian Greer Exeunt
Made with the help of the people of Margate and the support of The Tom Thumb Theatre, The National Theatre Studio, Shoreditch Town Hall and Arts Council England.