Singer Nick Cave has joined the cast of Dream, a live online production inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Pre-recorded during lockdown, the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds frontman will play the Voice of the Forest – a strange and beautiful character who is never seen but who is all around.

The show, which will see the audience invited to interact with a cast of seven actors, is a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Manchester International Festival (MIF), immersive art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Dream was due to open in spring 2020 as an in-person and online live performance and has been recreated during the pandemic for online audiences while theatres remain closed.

The virtual show, set in a virtual midsummer forest, will use motion capture following a major research and development project to explore how audiences could experience live performance in the future.

It will give audiences the chance to directly influence the live performance, which uses gaming and theatre technology and an interactive symphonic score that responds to the actors’ movement.

Mischievous fairy Puck acts as the guide as audiences are invited to explore the forest, meet the sprites, Cobweb, Mustardseed, Peaseblossom and Moth, and take a journey into the eye of a storm before helping Puck regrow the forest before dawn.

Audience members can choose to buy a £10 ticket to take part in a shared experience and directly influence the world of the actors, or to view the performance for free.

Dream runs from March 12 to March 20 and tickets are available at