Lucy Leeming in A Dreamer, by Australian Classical Theatre

The originality and modernity of Baynton's bleak imagination is faithfully rendered, and the stage is richer for it. — Cameron Woodhead, The Age

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A Dreamer

An Australian treat. Using only three chairs and a bath, Barbara Baynton's short story A Dreamer, written in 1890, is brought to life through soundscape, movement, symbolism and her own words.

A Dreamer

The Story

‘Chosen Vessel’ is the collective title for stage adaptations of three short stories by Barbara Baynton that have a gothic intensity and a strong maternal instinct.

Baynton’s characters are often victims of ugly poverty and man’s inhumanity to woman. In A Dreamer, a young newly pregnant daughter journeys to the house of her youth. Lost in a storm, her sense of foreboding is dispelled by the ever-present voice of her Mother. Her rite of passage from child to woman is completed upon arrival, as she is greeted by strangers, mourners at her Mother’s bedside. Her journey from Daughter to Mother now begins.

A Dreamer


The performance begins with live, original music by Todd Cook. Inspired by his time spent in indigenous communities in the Northern Territory as well as the aftermath of the Black Saturday Fires, his music tells the stories of people, landscapes and the elements.

This is the perfect way to lead into the performance of A Dreamer, where one young woman battles the natural elements to reach her childhood home.

Barbara Baynton (1857–1929), the first Australian woman to write fiction under her own name, challenged Henry Lawson's romanticism of the Australian bush.

The most recent production of A Dreamer was at Café Camino, 1 Little King Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JR. The production ran from 8th–24th August, 2012.

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A Dreamer


Cameron Woodhead, The Age

… a brutal psychological journey … the sound and fury abruptly depart, replaced by solitude and a devastating silence … The originality and modernity of Baynton's bleak imagination is faithfully rendered, and the stage is richer for it.

John Bailey, The Sunday Age

It's as gripping as any contemporary thriller.

Lucy Leeming

About the Performer

Lucy Leeming

An experienced actor and dancer, Lucy grew up on a farm in country Victoria, Australia, and has been performing on stage and televsion since 2004. View her profile here and her showreel on Vimeo.