A lo-fi sci-fi black comedy set in the year 2091. Technology allows us to control our dreams and upload them to DreamShare. It has become completely normal for everyone in society to take the Cognetix dream pill every night.

Our story follows Ian, a perpetual beta-male, who is pretty insignificant; even the face recognition software at work doesn’t know who he is. At night Ian dreams of being a hero and saving Janice, but during the day he works at Cognetix, sifting through data in the sleep analysis department where Janice is his unattainable supervisor. One day Ian crosses paths with the headstrong outcast Bea and is suddenly plunged headfirst into a world of conspiracy.

The Hours Before We Wake is a sharp dystopian comedy about lucid dreaming, technology and not letting anyone inside your head. Tremolo Theatre use music, movement and intricate sound design to explore their version of the future.

“A little gem of a show, multi faceted and polished to perfection.” - ★★★★★ StageTalk Magazine.

“A dark comedy, with great comedic timing and a script that’s razor sharp” - Bristol #Prospectus


Ian - James D Kent

Bea - Maisie Newman

Janice / Louise - Kathleen Fitzpatrick Milton



Created and Devised by the Company

Director - Jack Drewry

Musical Director - Rowan Evans

Sound Design - Rowan Evans and Jack Drewry

Dramaturgy - Elana Binysh and Anna Houghton

Designer - Jenny Davies

Lighting - Jay Costello

Lighting Operator - Bob Yates-Tiley

Production Photography - Jack Offord

Assistant Producer - Elana Binysh

Producers - Emma London and Jojo Townsend


The Hours Before We Wake was the first production from Tremolo Theatre. It evolved from Jack Drewry's interest in lucid dreaming. What would happen if a pill was invented that allowed you to control your dreams? The idea was first tested in a session Kathleen Fitzpatrick Milton and Kitty Wheeler-Shaw ran with the Bristol Old Vic Young Company which eventually lead to a longer three day residency, lead by Jack, at the Bristol Old Vic. During this research and development period Tremolo Theatre worked with many brilliant theatre-makers, illustrators, writers and musicians (full list at the bottom of this page) who all helped us shape the world of the play and work out how to tell the story. 

After this development period, we worked with a smaller group who then performed an extract at Prototype at the Tobacco Factory in February 2015. Doing a scratch performance allowed us to test the world of the play using sound, humour and minimal staging. We then performed a version of the full show at MayFest 2015 in The Wardrobe Theatre. After another period of development we did two performances in the opening season of The Wardrobe Theatre in their new venue in Old Market. We sold out the whole run and received some rave reviews. The collective imagination of everyone involved in the process is what has made this show possible.

Thanks to everyone who help us make this show including: Sam Dawson, Ben Harrison, Alice Ritchie, Joseph Langdon, Bob Yates-Tiley, Lara Hawthorne, Harriet Lee-Merrion, Stephanie Kempson, Sam Bailey, Helena Middleton, Kitty Wheeler-Shaw, Verónica Iacona and Hal Kelly.