Greg Hicks on The Dream of a Ridiculous Man

Adapted from Dostoyevsky’s short story, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, which opens at Marylebone Theatre on 21 March, follows an ordinary man who comes to the startling realisation that nothing matters. Dreaming of a world that has meaning, he sets out to inspire others with his vision for a better world – if only he could get them to listen. The updated tragicomedy for our times, examining the rise in nationalism, the climate crisis and human nature, is adapted and directed by Olivier Award-winning director Laurence Boswell and stars stage and screen actor Greg Hicks.

Hicks has played leading roles at the National and RSC for forty years, and starred in numerous productions in the West End and around the country, including the Olivier-winning Oklahoma! at the Young Vic, Ghosts at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre and Coriolanus at the Old Vic. His screen appearances include The Mercy and Hollywood blockbuster Snow White and the Huntsman.

Ahead of opening, we caught up with Hicks to get his take on the play.

Q&A with Greg Hicks

What can you tell us about The Dream of a Ridiculous Man?

It’s a call to a new vision of humanity, and the need for compassion. It’s adapted from Dostoevsky but is still very relevant today, tackling big social and political issues. But it’s also very personal about this character and his journey, and is also very funny and hopeful.

What’s it like to be performing the show at Marylebone Theatre?

It’s great to be performing at this new space in London that champions new drama.

What was it that attracted you to Laurence Boswell’s script?

The show, character and its themes are the perfect fit for me at the moment, and where my psyche is at this time in my life. I was excited to work with Laurence because we’ve known each other for years.

How does performing in a one-man show compare to an ensemble piece?

In a one-man show, it’s just you and the audience, so the responsibility for the evening sits on your shoulders. The direct relationship with the audience is both its vulnerability and its power.

What do you hope audiences take away from the show?

That there is hope in the world and it’s important to share that with others.

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man is at Marylebone Theatre from 21 March to 20 April