Fringe World review: Night Sweats by Static Drive Co ·
The Blue Room Theatre, 3 February ·
Review: Claire Trolio ·
Insomnia and I met way back. We’ve shared many, many a night hanging out until all hours of the morning humming the same bars of a song over again like a record that skips, panicking about an upcoming obligation that we should have said no to, challenging one another to calculate mathematical equations, planning the next day down to minute blocks, worrying that a text message sent might be misinterpreted. And while everyone’s experience of insomnia is different, Night Sweats struck an all too familiar chord.
The first official production from new kids on the block Static Drive Co, Night Sweats is a one man show performed by Timothy Green. Set over the course of one night, Green’s character, Dennis, wishes to be asleep but is most definitely and disappointingly awake. He delivers an internal monologue that makes complete sense and no sense at once – an adventure into an insomniac’s psyche. Whilst nothing really happens (because it doesn’t, does it?) if you’ve ever lain awake at night moments of this work will resonate with you.
Night Sweats is more than a monologue of maniacal thoughts. Dennis offers insight into why he has trouble sleeping and we learn a lot about this endearing character. His brain dives into insecurities and self-doubt, with a healthy mix of uptempo activity and private affirmations. The work discusses adult trauma and childish quirks, but at the root of it all, Dennis is a bit like all of us.
Perhaps surprisingly for a work about insomnia, Night Sweats is truly funny. Partly through familiarity but mostly through his cheeky yet earnest delivery, Green frequently had us laughing out loud.
Sound designer Nathalie Pavlovic (of Perth dream pop band Dianas) has created an exceptional piece of work for Night Sweats. The mood in the theatre is most effectively dictated by her soundscape, which moves from frenetic energy to dreamlike sequences seamlessly. The lighting design – a joint effort between Green, Haydon Wilson and Steve Berrick – is similarly emotive.
Though the work lost me a little on occasion, if Night Sweats signals what’s to come from Static Drive Co, I’m really excited. This crew set the standard with their first production and I’ll be keeping a close eye on what comes next.
Pictured top: Timothy Green in ‘Night Sweats’. Photo: Matthew Lister.