Dreams Die Hard

photo: Tomek Szlufik
photo: Tomek Szlufik
photo: Tomek Szlufik
photo: Tomek Szlufik

Dreams Die Hard

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 feminismimmigration 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. My spirit of adventure must be sacrificed. 

Make me more content to live in a humdrum world. Make me forget all the other things my restless spirit craves.    

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



Theater Haus Mitte, Berlin – January 2019

Teatr Osmego Dnia, Poznan, Poland – February 2019

A Piece of the Continent Festival (Voila! Europe and Actors Centre) Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden, London – April 2019

32nd Edition of the International Theatre Festival ‘Valise’, Lomza, Poland – June 2019

The Albany Theatre, Earlsdon, Coventry UK – June 2020

O S T H A F E N  VIII / Circus of Live International  Festival for Puppet and Object Theatre, Theater des Lachens, Frankfurt (Oder) Germany – September 2019

Teatr Tlusta Langusta, Poznan, Poland, November 2019 (with Polish subtitles)

Theater Haus Mitte, Berlin, Germany – December 2019 (with German subtitles)

See NEWS for upcoming performances in 2020.


This is story-telling at its brilliant best. Personal, incisive, at times funny, yet also sad and highly thought-provoking. 

Dreams Die Hard also contains the best-ever explanation of Brexit courtesy of the good old British fry-up. 



Dreams Die Hard Awarded Acting Prize at 32nd International Theatre Festival, Lomza, Poland



Performed and written by Rachel Karafistan

Inspired by a diary by Olive Davis

Direction: Kuba Pierzchalski

Music: Kuba Pierzchalski

Set Design & Construction: Kuba Pierzchalski

Props and Video Animation: Kamil Macejko

Drawings: Jo Johnston www.johnston-x-kröner.de

Premiere: 13th October 2018, Theater Haus Mitte, Berlin




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