WATCH out for two gorillas in the streets and snickelways of York on Monday night.

Two gorillas with human heads, to be precise. One of them will be Dr Claire Hind, senior lecturer in theatre at York St John University; the other will be Ilkley artist and fellow researcher Gary Winters.

Together they will be taking you into a world of York and Yorkshire dreams, for which they invite you to meet them outside the Hole In The Wall pub on High Petergate, by the snickelway that leads into Precentor’s Court. “Hover around that area and the tour begins at 8pm on the dot,” they advise. “It lasts just under one hour.”

Claire will be Kong Lear, her fusion of King Lear and King Kong that featured in her Ghost Track show at York Theatre Royal in March 2012, while Gary will be in his gorilla guise as King Lear’s Fool.

You have not dreamt this. This is genuinely a new addition to York’s myriad walking tours, with not a ghost or historical artefact in sight.

Claire and Gary street-tested their walk with free tours in January when “we reclaimed the city as a waking dream and stopped the traffic”, according to their literature.

Now they are ready to launch a spring and summer series of free Dream Yards nights, drawing upon two years of dream research that included discussions in London with Cape Town neuro-psychoanalyst Professor Mark Solms, who adheres to the Freudian credo that “we need to dream in order to sleep”.

“We started our project with a Twitter and Facebook campaign and posters around the city and in City Screen that Gary designed,” says Claire, sitting in the City Screen, York, café bar, where an exhibition by Gary provides an intriguing introduction and progress report on the Dream Yards project.

“We set up four drop-in centres last November where you could drop in your dreams. To do this we made plain beermats, with dreamy stamps, that people could either draw their dreams on or describe in six lines on the mat.”

Those centres were in York Theatre Royal’s foyer at the Young People’s Shakespeare: King Lear show; Space 109 community arts centre in Walmgate; City Screen, on the night when Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds was being screened; and Me And Mrs Fisher, the crafts and tea shop on Lord Mayor’s Walk.

“We chose there because one of the ladies who run it, Hannah George-Roberts, had a dream about opening up a cafe called Me and Mrs Fisher with her friend,” says Claire. “It wasn’t a dream as in an ambition, but one in the middle of the night while asleep, and she told her friend about it… and now they have their lovely café.”

Claire and Gary collected 200 dreams, each one accompanied by the age and gender of the dreamer rather than their name, those ages ranging from seven (Claire’s daughter) to 80.

What was apparent to them was our fascination with dreams. “Lots of people stayed for ages after The Birds to talk about their dreams, but Dream Yards is not about dream interpretation and telling people what their dreams mean,” she stresses.

Instead they will look at recurring dreams (such as tornadoes; losing all your teeth at once; driving off a cliff; and failing to revise for an exam) and the significance of dreams for King Lear, his Fool, Sigmund Freud, Amelia Earheart, the pilot who vanished in flight; and American singer Roy Orbison.

“So many of Orbison’s songs were about dreams, so we’ll be using his music as the soundtrack to our walk,” says Claire.

The drop-box dreams will play their part in the walk, which will follow a different path to the city’s ghost walks, even taking in the city centre’s “darker and more seedy routes”.

“We’re not trying to compete with those walks but complement them,” says Claire. “When we take you around the streets, we’ll be using the snickelways as if they’re the passages of your brain, so we’ll try to re-map the streets of York as if you were having a dream because your dreams are never linear. That means we’ll return to places on the route and we’ll disappear and hide and reappear,” says Claire.

Claire and Gary will continue their Dream Yards project with a theatre show of the same title in the York Theatre Royal Studio in November, again featuring Kong Lear and King Lear’s fool.

In the meantime, may you have happy dreams tonight during the five stages of sleep that research has identified in the analysis of how the brain functions in slumber. Sleep well and remember this: “Dreaming proper, we have discovered, keeps you healthy,” says Claire.

• Dream Yards, The Walking Tour; walkers can meet at Precentor’s Court, next to The Hole In The Wall, High Petergate, York, on April 15 and 22; May 13 and 20. The walks are free; the project is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

• You can follow the Dream Yards Walking Tour for updates at Facebook: Kong Lear’s Dream Yards and #Dreamyards@konglear