The primary character in the play is Agnes, a daughter of the Vedic god Indra. She descends to Earth to bear witness to problems of human beings. She meets about 40 characters, some of them having a clearly symbolical value (such as four deans representing theology, philosophy, medicine, and law). After experiencing all sorts of human suffering (for example poverty, cruelty, and routine of the family life), the daughter of gods realizes that human beings are to be pitied. Finally, she returns to the Heaven and this moment corresponds to the awakening from a dream-like sequence of events.
Written in 1902, 'A Dream Play' is an unusual amalgam of Freud, Alice's Wonderland and Strindberg's own private symbolism. 103 years after Strindberg’s original Caryl Churchill's spare and resonant new version premiered at the National Theatre in 2005.