“Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men” is a DV8 Physical Theatre piece from 1988 writen by the Australian choreographer Lloyd Newson. DV8 is a londonian theater, directed by Newson himself, and notorious for dance performances since the mid 1980s.
Based on a true story, the 80 min-long performance is a somber narrative about serial killer Dennis Nilsen, the man responsible for 16 murders in London in the 80’s.
The show depicts, as the killer himself called it, a « vain search for inner peace ». It presents Nilsen’s willingness to kill as a result of a societal homophobia when, seeking for compagny, he’s only able to get ride himself of his intimate struggles in a tragical way.
In the performance, the violence is translated into a sensual dance between the 4 protagonists, a very physical choreography in which, even if gays are mainly depicted as lonely men torn between their desires and anxieties, one-night stands and murders are still presented in a strangely romantic way.
The stage production was adapted in 1989 by David Hinton for the British television: the 10 parts of the piece are filmed in black and white in dark crusing areas, SM bars and other playgrounds for games of seduction and death. With at the end, a nice song from Dusty Springfield.
I personally recommend the part 4, “I just want to be with you – Alone”, one of the most convincing scene of the show.
with Nigel Charnock, Russell Maliphant, Douglas Wrigh and Lloyd Newson.
DVD : DV8 Physical Theatre (“Dead dreams of monochrome men” + “Strange fish” + “Enter achilles”), 158 min, 2007, Arthaus.