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A passionate, clear-sighted look at the day-to-day life of a working actor, The Dream follows Leigh Lawson as he performs with the Royal Shakespeare Company, taking in a brief excursion to America to appear in a Coward double-bill. Invited by the RSC to play both Oberon and Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he navigates his way through the separate difficulties posed by each role, survives the first night at London’s Barbican, and returns to Stratford upon Avon, the scene of many of his childhood escapades and the source of his love affair with the theatre. Leigh also recalls the hilariously unsettling circumstances of his first big break – a leading part in Franco Zeffirelli’s film Brother Sun, Sister Moon shortly after leaving drama school. Leigh proves himself a born writer, whether summoning up the backstage atmosphere of a first night with uncanny accuracy, evoking the beauties of the natural world, or creating thumbnail sketches of his colleagues and friends with a few well-chosen words. The book draws the reader inside the mind of an actor: his fears and reveries; his pragmatism and superstition; his shifting feelings about rehearsals and performances, and the oddities of audiences. Vivid, warm-hearted and perceptive, The Dream will delight everybody with an interest in the theatre.