Lucia Cox goes to see Riotous Company’s Insomnia in our temporary space at Number One First Street and has an experience that will keep her awake at night…
It’s just a bit exciting finding First Street. Winding through the maze that is a boarded-up building site which will eventually become HOME, there’s finally, at the end of the journey, an office block and a wristband on entry and a lift that opens up into the temporary space. There’s a bar, eclectic rugs thrown about, fairy lights twinkling and mis-matched furniture. It’s understated cool. It feels like finding a secret, wonderful place that no one else in the city knows about. And the weird, wonderful drama has begun.
Somewhere between the waking hours and the deepest slumber is the strange myriad of danger, peace and whimsy which makes Insomnia; a dance drama told by three dream-like creatures. It’s a bit like being awake too long or asleep too briefly or both. The piece, created by Irene Cioni, Mia Theil Have, Nikola Kodjabashia and directed by Tage Larsen, explores all those balmy happenings in dreams, and in those moments when we’re not sure if we’re still in their midst.
The physical dance performed by Cioni and Theil Have is clever, witty and unassuming but the star of the show is composer and pianist Kodjabashia who scores the piece and acts his shoeless socks off throughout. He’s funny, really funny, and pin points the moments in the piece eloquently. Even in some of the flabbier moments, the inclusion of a musical ‘overseer’ who is sometimes conductor, sometimes the bemused follower, makes for a watchable event.
The oeuvre is simple and the ideas are clear. What happens when sleep is elusive? What really happens to the brain? How much is the truth? Taking it to its nth degree, what is real anyway?
The whole evening was a surreal event and HOME is sure to have many, many more of these up its sleeve. I can’t wait. I can’t sleep, just thinking about it…
Insomnia‘s last performance is tonight at 19.30 at Number One First Street. Tickets are available online or from Cornerhouse Box Office in person or on 0161 200 1500. Lucia Cox is the founder of House of Orphans theatre company and theatre editor for Northern Soul.