Psychological Insomniac Theatre: Night Sweats

4 stars

In a darkened room, we listen to the thoughts of a mind wracked by insomnia. They bubble up despite the protagonist's best efforts to push them aside. Exploring this experience in a truly original way, the performance floats seamlessly between the fantastic and mundane.

Image courtesy of Static Drive Co.

Image courtesy of Static Drive Co.

Night Sweats, the debut production for Static Drive Co, is an experimental show that has erupted from the gifted mind of Timothy Green, writer and performer of this one person theatre piece. Haydon Wilson directs and has realised Green’s vision in an enthralling fashion.

Much of the performance is delivered through a frame on stage that, when combined with the largely unlit backdrop, creates a talking head effect with stunning results. Green is often reduced to a face in the darkness, railing against poisoned thoughts as he expresses frustration with his self-sabotage.

The lighting and sound are truly remarkable, perfectly complementing a captivatingly expressive performance by Green. The dream-like nature of the sound design by Nathalie Pavlovic is a stand out and captures the feeling of timelessness engendered by long hours awake and stuck inside one’s own head.

Green’s voice in particular is a wonderful tool, able to lull the audience into a dreamy, half awake state at times and snap them back into focus with effective use of tone, pitch, and rhythm.

Night sweats brings the audience inside Green’s inner monologue. Shifting between trains of thought and conflicting emotions, it’s a depiction that feels intensely familiar to anyone who has struggled to turn their brain off. There’s a sprinkling of humour, but by and large Night Sweats is a show that delivers a highly introspective atmosphere and leaves its audience shaken - trapped inside their own heads.

Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.