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Factory of Broken Dreams review: A dash of optimism in these uncertain and wintry days

PUBLISHED: 15:51 24 November 2018

The Hocus Pocus Theatre production of Factory of Broken Dreams. Picture Andi Sapey.

The Hocus Pocus Theatre production of Factory of Broken Dreams. Picture Andi Sapey.

Archant

What would Hocus Pocus Theatre Company conjure up for an immersive night of entertainment at the puppet theatre?

The Hocus Pocus Theatre production of Factory of Broken Dreams. Picture Andi Sapey.The Hocus Pocus Theatre production of Factory of Broken Dreams. Picture Andi Sapey.

This Norfolk based ensemble is known for burlesque, and some had dressed up for the night. But this time the offering was more mysterious than mischievous.

As we entered the Factory of Broken Dreams, we were required to clock-on. A fierce forewoman with a sharp Norfolk tongue had us all standing to attention and ready for work.

The foyer was full of strange sounds. Eerie tones of a dulcimer-like instrument called a nyckelharpa sent out sinister notes. A flamboyant and highly eccentric ghost regarded us on high. Her billowing white frock swathed the end wall like the drapes of a giant stage. ‘Don’t work to live, live to work!’ she exhorted us. ‘Look after each other…’ she warned, as we climbed through her skirts into the depths of the building.

To the right, was a masked man in a cage. ‘Don’t stare, it’s a starving actor’, we were told. To the left, was a tiny office where dreams were documented. The walls were lined with official looking files and records of brain activity.

Once in the auditorium, a stern manager had us assembling and stacking boxes and then it was time to meet a sleepy shoemaker, whose night-time slumbers were troubled by a visit from a hungry wolf.

Chocolate Baileys awaited in the next room. Here, a Caley’s chocolate factory worker told the story of her First World War romance. The music and shadow puppetry were especially moving.

To end the night, we sung an anthem to the healing of broken dreams. We, the factory workers, were coming together to rebuild a great and glorious future.

The Factory of Dreams lit up its audience with playfulness and humour. A much needed dash of optimism in these uncertain and wintry days.

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