ViSiBLE today announces the world première of Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep devised by Mike Alfreds and Sonja Linden with the Company, the latter who also directs. Inspired by the wealth of talent among Britain’s older actors, ViSiBLE is a theatre company dedicated to creating work that throws fresh perspectives on later life and living longer. The production opens at Southwark Playhouse on 29 April and runs until 23 May.
Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep follows the journeys of five individuals over one night, each struggling in different ways with an inability to sleep. As the play moves from dusk to dawn, we observe their sometimes bizarre nocturnal activities and failed attempts at regaining their sleep.
Humour alternates with pathos as the five, all in their 60s and 70s, gradually reveal the reasons for their sleeplessness. The journey through the night delves into their inner lives, and the pursuit of not only a good night’s sleep but of answers to much bigger existential questions.
Devised by a company of older actors aged 60+ and led by the acclaimed veteran director and renowned master of ensemble, Mike Alfreds, this play is conceived in response to the current public health crisis of insomnia, now characterised by sleep scientists as ‘a silent epidemic’, with 30% of the UK population now suffering from some form of sleep disturbance.
Sonja Linden said today, “Sleep is something everybody does, it’s universal, yet more and more of us are finding sleep elusive, particularly some of our older population. As a company dedicated to telling stories about later life, we went on a journey of exploration, consulting with sleep experts but also tapping into our own experiences and imagination and crucially the creativity of our actors to dream up – Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep.”