THEATRE - Insomnia Theatre Project, Act II Theatre Company, Spalding

Act II Theatre Company's Insomnia Theatre Project.
Act II Theatre Company's Insomnia Theatre Project.

Dark and sinister twist to the summer

Take nine youngsters aged between ten and 16, give them something exciting to do for the summer holidays and then see what happens.

Such was the challenge served up by the revoluntionary Act II Theatre Company to a group of pupils and students coming towards the end of their long school break.

Insomnia was the result of a three-day brainstorming session where youngsters fell under the creative spell of Act II co-director Charlotte Gernert and theatre assistant Kieran Watson.

The play is set in a hard labour camp where nine youngsters are watched over by an oppressive regime called Overseer which limits their sleep to just four hours in order to “maximise productivity”.

But when unrest emerges amongst the working classes, the group decides to rebel by planting an insider within the ruling elite to overturn Overseer.

However, unlike Neon Youth Theatre’s production of Wake Up call in June, the group finds something in common with their oppressors as the secret of humanity threatens to spill out.

The self-assurance shown by the youngsters to present Insomnia to their audience was some achievement.

After the play, South Holland Centre theatre director Sally Harrison said: “This was a diverse piece of theatre that the group put together with Act II (Theatre Company) over three days.”

Charlotte added: “It was a very easy three days because (the group) worked so hard, we had so many ideas thrown round the room and it was down to them.”

Review by Winston Brown