Southwark Playhouse (venue)
01 May 2022 (released)
01 May 2022
With figures such as 30% of the Uk population suffering from some form of sleep disturbance and the highest proportion of those being over 60, then awareness and exploration of this is something that needs addressing.
ViSiBiLe Theatre Ensemble, in their third play at Southwark , are 'decicated to creating work with fresh perspectives on later life, by drawing on the creativity and talent of experienced older actors' and therefore, in the perfect position to do this.
Told through the sleepless meanderings and minds of five very different characters each with their own particular struggles in life offers a broad examination of the issue. Each life is drawn out with such feeling and heart that you should develop a strong empathy with them . The actors Sally Knyvette, Vincenzo Nicoli, Gary Linburn, Geraldine Alexander and Andrew Hawkins are all excellent and totally embody their stress-wracked characters, particularly when not speaking and we see them clinging to the wall, floor and the chairs, desperate to find that illusive good night's sleep . But, it is the delivery as individual monologues with no narrative of visual overlap between them, where it falls short. Too much is delivered on one level and pace, which creates a soporific feel, especially set against Agnes Treplin's all encompassing cloud-like walls and floor. At a running time of 105 minutes, it needed more interaction and breaking across the monologues to sustain dramatic tension. Without that, it misses out on the shared experience. The important fact that this is occurring in high proportions of the population is somewhat lost in the obsessive angst of the individual.
I totally applaud the idea and the development surrounding the theme chosen. It is so refreshing to see mature actors taking 'centre stage' , but good as that is, the narrative style makes it less rewarding as a complete play.