Major new work from Marshmallow Laser Feast and Factory International opens at Manchester’s Aviva Studios this Summer (17 July - 1 September 2024)

Reggie Watts, Munya Chawawa and Morgana Robinson revealed as voices of an absurdist ensemble of cartoon fast-food mascots

Illustrated by McBess and scripted by former chef Simon Wroe, Sweet Dreams is developed and funded by the BFI (awarding National Lottery funding

Factory International and award-winning art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) set out to redefine the boundaries of storytelling and cinema in the world premiere of Sweet Dreams, a surreal, immersive journey through appetite, human desire and the evolving landscape of food. Developed and funded by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, and created in collaboration with award-winning writer and former chef Simon Wroe, this playful new interactive artwork wraps big questions about how and what we consume into a comic, immersive pop package.

Featuring a cast of satirical on-screen animated cartoon characters, voiced by leading international actors and comedians and illustrated by renowned French artist McBess (Matthieu Bessudo), the narrative centres around a fast-food empire in decline. Mascot Chicky Ricky, voiced by actor and comedian Munya Chawawa, grapples to understand the ever-shifting desires of the masses, alongside an array of other characters including The Boss with a Rolodex head voiced by comedian Reggie Watts and Penny Peckish voiced by comedian and impressionist Morgana Robinson, a shelved mascot made of plastic straws.

Unfolding over a series of meticulously crafted rooms in the vast Warehouse space at Aviva Studios – which last summer showcased a major exhibition of Yayoi Kusama’s inflatable artworks - audiences will be transported into a mesmerising blend of motion graphics, gaming, illustration and cinema, moving between the tantalising and the grotesque, the nightmarish and the hilarious.

Munya Chawawa, who voices Chicky Ricky, said, “I've always felt my career wouldn't be complete without voicing a psychologically-twisted animated chicken, so this truly was a dream come true. The concept and characters are so brilliantly poignant and satirically sharp, it's been a total delight and will be for anyone who goes to see it. Let's just say you'll think twice before your next burger..."

Sweet Dreams is the second collaboration between Factory International and MLF following Dream, a live online theatre show set in the midsummer forest of Shakespeare’s play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ that utilised live actors in motion capture suits influenced by live audience interaction through gaming technology.

Known for their breath-taking immersive exhibitions, Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) is an experiential art collective whose work reinterprets the idea of human perception and experience, through design, digital media, performance and sculpture. Incorporating online phenomena such as Mukbang ASMR and utilising cutting edge AI tools and motion capture technology, Sweet Dreams is the culmination of years of innovative work from MLF creating ground-breaking digital experiences all over the world.