Will’s Dream

Will was supporting me on Saturday night for our final performance of Backstage in Biscuit Land at the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC). Afterwards he stayed at the castle to provide my overnight care and yesterday morning he told me about a dream he’d had. It went something like this:

He was performing in a big production of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, playing Willy Wonker. Part of his costume was a giant cat’s head, and he was carrying a cane. In the dream he performed the show three times. The first time it went well, the second time he couldn’t find the costume so he performed in a transparent suit with only his blue and pink Muppet pyjama bottoms on underneath, and the third performance went well.

It was clear that some elements of his dream had been inspired by watching BIBL earlier in the day – a giant cat’s head features in our show too. Others derived from less recent memories – he’d been to see a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory about six months ago. And some details were just very random, like his Muppet pyjamas.

As Will mused about why his brain had suddenly reached for Charlie and the Chocolate factory out of all his memories, we pretty much simultaneously commented on how similar dreams are to tics.

Will said ‘Just like you say that anything you’ve ever known has the potential to become a tic, anything I’ve ever known has the potential to become a dream.’

I added that just like tics, dreams can be triggered by specific events, experiences or feelings, but they can also happen randomly. Tics often collide random ideas, which is something that frequently happens in dreams too.

It was an interesting conversation, and in some ways followed on from one I’d been having the night before with Francesca Martinez who’d come to see the show with her brother Raoul.

After the show Raoul asked if I thought the process that produces tics was going on in everyone’s minds but they just don’t realise it.

I think (based on no scientific knowledge or evidence) that this is quite possible. My conscious thoughts are pretty mundane and they’re not peppered with tics. But some other layer of connections between my memories and my surroundings seems to be what turns into tics.

I’ve never really thought about tics in this way before and though it’s just theorising I found talking and thinking about it very interesting.

Will’s version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sounded very interesting too, and now he’s got three performances under his belt perhaps he should ask the BAC to let him put it on there.

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