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


Previous Performances:

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

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

Theater Haus Mitte, Berlin, Germany – December 2019

International Maifestspiele / International May Festival, Wiesbaden, Germany – May 2020


Audiences Reactions: 

‘A storytelling masterclass that was superbly designed, beautifully written and performed to perfection.’

‘Simply stunning… will stay with me forever.’ 

‘A fantastic evening of theatre with a timely message’

‘Just fabulous’ 

‘A gorgeous show’

‘European theatre at its finest’

‘The kind of show they write about in books’


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. TVINE MAGAZINE, London



Dreams Die Hard awarded Acting Prize at the 32nd International Theatre Festival in Łomża

In June 2019 Rachel won the Acting Award for Dreams Die Hard at the prestigious 32nd International Theatre Festival in Lomza, Poland. Huge gratitude to Jaroslaw Antonik and the rest of the festival team for an incredible week of beautiful theatrical experiences.

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
Premiere: 13th October 2018, Theater Haus Mitte, Berlin
Surtitles currently available in Polish & German – all other languages possible 😉




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