Sweet Dreams at Aviva Studios

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Illustration courtesy of McBess; render: yeahnice.design.

Sweet Dreams at Aviva Studios, Manchester 11 July — 1 September 2024 Tickets from £7.50 — Book now

A visual feast for the senses will takeover Factory International’s Aviva Studios this summer. Multi-sensory and surreal, Sweet Dreams is a brand-new storytelling experience that takes audiences on a journey through food, appetite and desire.

Created by the award-winning Marshmallow Laser Feast, one of the world’s leading immersive art collectives, Sweet Dreams invites us to explore our place in the food chain. Presenting big ideas about appetite and desire through a delicious blend of gaming, motion graphics and cinema, Factory International promises a show audiences can really get their teeth into.

From the tantalising to the grotesque, and the nightmarish to the absurd, Sweet Dreams explodes the boundaries between storytelling and cinema to cook up a playful new artwork tackling big questions around human desire and the evolving landscape of food.

an ice cream with fried chick in it, a fork with a waffle sprouting from the top, a bow tie made of pastry
Marshmallow Laser Feast.

Dive headfirst into the world of a fast-food empire in decline. Join Chicky Ricky, a fast-food mascot facing an uncertain future, as he leads you through the world of food to discover what the consumer really wants. Sweet Dreams offers food for thought – will Chicky Ricky adapt or disappear forever?

Robin McNicholas, Director of Marshmallow Laser Feast, commented, “Sweet Dreams holds a cartoon mirror on our world. We’re serving up a story where audiences can deepen their connection to the food they eat. We aim to spark further conversations about our place in the food chain, via chirpy cartoon faces that often are the gatekeepers to the things we consume.”

Occupying one of Aviva Studios’ huge warehouse spaces, the perfect setting for reflecting on even bigger questions around food, consumerism and greed, this world premiere features a cast of animated cartoon characters illustrated by French Artist McBess. Playful and satirical, each character is voiced by a leading international performer – with actor Munya Chawawa taking on the role of Chicky Ricky alongside comedian Reggie Watts as The Boss and impressionist Morgana Robinson as Penny Peckish. Written by award-winning author and former chef, Simon Wroe, audiences can expect a vivid and cartoonish storytelling journey through a series of meticulously designed settings.

Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) are best known for their breathtaking exhibitions inspired by the natural world. From the Amazonian ecosystem to our own cardiovascular system, the hyper-talented collective create beautiful sensory experiences through art and cutting-edge technology. Following the success of their first collaboration – Dream – an online theatre show inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream utilising live performance, motion capture suits, gaming technology and audience interaction, we’re thrilled to see MLF join forces with Factory International for Sweet Dreams, their first venture into the world of narrative-driven work.

Gabrielle Jenks, Factory International’s Digital Director told us, “We are thrilled to expand our creative collaboration with Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) – Sweet Dreams advances a new direction for the creative team and aligns perfectly with Factory International’s mission of supporting art forms of the future. As one of the most exciting immersive art studios practising today, MLF invent new formats for storytelling, using cutting-edge cinematic tools to bring characters and worlds to life. We are excited to premiere this flagship work and look forward to hearing the audience response.”

Sweet Dreams at Aviva Studios, Manchester 11 July — 1 September 2024 Tickets from £7.50 Book now

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