Tristan Bates Theatre

Dreams Die Hard

COSMINO productions presents 


by Rachel Karafistan & Kuba Pierzchalski 


22nd - 27th April 






This is Olive’s story. I’m not sure she would like me to tell it but I’m going to anyway.

Dreams Die Hard travels through many landscapes and summons ghosts from the past on a journey towards truth and tolerance. From London to Cyprus and way beyond.

Inspired by a diary from 1945/6 written by the performer's grandmother, the production weaves together projections and live shadow puppetry; war time politics with Brexit time politics; the drama of 1940’s London with the reality of 1980’s Liverpool. Questions of vulnerability, national identity, discrimination and national boundaries are raised in a new international production for our increasingly intolerant times. 

COSMINO Productions is a Berlin based company made up of British actor / director Rachel Karafistan and Polish actor / director / musician (and veteran Berlin Blue Man) Kuba Pierzchalski. Both Rachel and Kuba are former members of acclaimed Polish company, Teatr Biuro Podrozy.

Drawing on theatre traditions from both the East and the West, their work has been described as magical, poetic and superbly imaginative. Kuba and Rachel are also visiting directors at Salzburg Landestheater and recently directed Paulas Reisen, based on a children’s book by Paul Maar. At A Piece of the Continent, Dreams Die Hard makes its UK premiere before embarking on a tour of Europe.


From creator Rachel Karafistan:

When Olive, my Grandmother died in 1998, I came across a diary she had written between 1945-46. What she wrote inside exploded everything we thought we knew about how my Father came into the world. Her words conjured into life the daily struggle of a single woman seizing every moment as the bombs rained down on London town. When the bombs fell silent, Olive’s sudden loss of independence was unbearable.

In a time before the establishment of the NHS and the Welfare State, being a single, unmarried mother was not desirable.

An unplanned pregnancy, a Turkish - Cypriot lover, a red headed American solider and a monkey. This is Olive’s story.

I’m not sure she would like me to tell it but I’m going to anyway.

Because in these futuristic post war days where words like feminism, immigration and populism divide us so brutally – it is my story too.


I must have a very strong streak of foreign blood in me because I have never in my life felt any love for my country.

I find in this narrow world, I have to conform to a pattern to make others happy.

Make me more content to live in a humdrum world.

Make me forget all the other things my restless spirit craves.   

My spirit of adventure must be sacrificed. 

Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to travel to find a Utopia,

travel on and on until I found it.

Well, dreams die hard.

Olive Davis, London 1945



Rachel Karafistan 



Direction, Music and Scenography Kuba Pierzchalski

Written and devised by Rachel Karafistan & Kuba Pierzchalski

Video Animation Kamil Macejko

Drawings Jo Johnston

Image credit Tomek Szlufik












Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the performance begins. We cannot guarantee entry to the performance once it has begun. The Actors Centre reserves the right to refuse entry.




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