Opening with an audio recording of various real-life political statements – given by both normal citizens and political leaders –
Insidious and unnerving
Sleepwalkers' script offers a sensitive, well-judged commentary on populism as it manifests in overlooked groups of people (while avoiding the classic liberal mistake of patronising the working classes). The interwoven plotlines help structure this idea, with each switch to the other story allowing for weeks and months to have passed by the time we return. These moves in plot are marked by simple but effective costume changes, invariably worked well into the choreography. However, though the premise and general execution of the play is strong, the script itself does need some more work. Dialogue is often flat and stilted, which reduces engagement in the complex and ever-shifting relationship dynamics.
Performing with high energy throughout, the three actors are accomplished and bring distinct personalities to the production. What they all have in common, however, is that they inhabit their characters far better at moments of stress. Scenes in which the trio are relaxed and happy do not feel nearly so competent as when they are bearing the weight of hardship, when their interpersonal relations are fraying – it is here that Alex Britt, Cara Withers and Flora Thomson come alive.
Insidious and unnerving, the playoffers a stark warning for potential sleepwalkers in the volatile present.