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Tinderbox Theatre Company presents Lucid


Tinderbox Theatre Company presents Lucid, which is this year’s Ignition  project.

“It’s not a play, not a documentary, not a dream, not anything. But it’s all of them too and Mr Ruffle is coming soon.”

Lucid is an ambitious surrealist short film/documentary about Tinderbox Director Patrick J O’Reilly and the 2020 Play Machine Ensemble who, due to current lockdown restrictions, now attempt to meet together in a dream to rehearse their new play, Mr Ruffles Truffle. Mr Ruffles Truffle was due to be performed at the Crescent Arts Centre 24th May and was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19. Tinderbox took the opportunity to document the process of creating work using online resources such as Zoom and other platforms which brilliantly paved the way for a macabre world of Burlesque, absurdist theatre and surrealist comedy to try and make sense of our current equally bizarre situation. As a vibrant arts sector we continue to find sources to connect and make theatre and Lucid pushes this idea to the very extreme with an ensemble doing whatever is impossible to come together into the same space to create a live theatre performance.

Artistic Director, Patrick J O’Reilly, said;

“Lucid tells the story of the Director and Play Machine cast who are trying to rehearse their production called Mr Ruffle’s Truffle online for Ignition. That night however, the Director has a dream where Mr Ruffle appears and suggests that they all meet in a lucid dream to rehearse their play. Unfortunately, the sinister Mr Ruffle terrorises the sleeping cast as they begin to turn into the characters of the play in the actors’ homes. The play itself refuses to follow restrictions and comes to life despite the global pandemic. Lucid is inspired by our present experiences with vivid dreaming and disrupted sleeping patterns during Lockdown. It’s macabre. It’s surreal entertainment. It’s complete nonsense. Lucid is a satirical tonic (with a bite) to celebrate the absurdity in our lives.

Lucid features 11 artists who participated in Tinderbox’s acclaimed professional training programme Play Machine which runs for 6 months every year at the Crescent Arts Centre. We are delighted to continually develop artist practice and we are proud to demonstrate the sectors ability to adapt to our current situation.

Caoileann Curry-Thompson, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said, “In these unprecedented times of dark theatres I am delighted that Tinderbox are rising to these particularly testing circumstances with Lucid. Ever inventive, brave and committed to exploring the inexhaustible richness of live physical performance, the Tinderbox team with their Play Machine artists are working on an artistic intervention into this theatrical barrenness. Using the recorded and digital means available they have concocted a suitably playful and absurd scenario by which to interrogate the tensions between liveness and recorded, awoke and asleep, theatre and film.

We don’t know what it will be like; it may well throw up more questions than it answers – but we do know it will be fearless and unique, and any questions it asks will be resonant for the entire theatre sector and audiences in these times. We at the Arts Council wish them all the very best, and look forward to experiencing Lucid.”

Lucid will premiere online the 19th and 20th June and will cost £10 per device. Further information & tickets, please click here. 

Creative Team:

Creator/theatre Maker: Patrick J O’Reilly Producer: Jen Shepherd
Sound Design: Isaac Gibson
Film Editor: Conor O’Donnell

Play Machine Artists:

  • Vicky Allen
  • Aoife Browne
  • Jonny Cameron
  • Conor Cupples
  • Rory Gillan
  • Orla Graham
  • Joe Loane
  • Faith McCune
  • Calum McElwee
  • Seon Simpson
  • Fergus Wachala-Kelly