Five Characters in Search of a Good Night’s Sleep ★★★★ Southwark Playhouse | Apr 27 - May 21, 2022


The title says it all. These are five monologues delivered by characters who are apparently suffering from insomnia. They are five very different people, but they all endure the same malady and in doing so they have time to recount their memories, regrets, fears and aspirations. Helen (Sally Knyvette) is a middle class woman who is self-contained and house proud; Bill (Vincenzo Nicoli) is a gentle chef with a romantic nature; Hugo (Gary Lilburn) is an Irish sculptor who as a child was abandoned by his father; Terry (Geraldine Alexander) is a woman who has lost a child and is now a caregiver for her own mother; Harvey (Andrew Hawkins) is a left-wing teacher who has been sacked from his job. All of the characters have interesting stories and all of the actors do absolutely first rate jobs at bringing them to life. Indeed, the quality of the acting is what makes this an exceptional production. However for us, the writing and construction of the work did not always rise to the high standard of the performances. It was distracting that the characters alternated between referring to themselves in the first and third person. While the intention may have been to reflect their dissociation from their own lives it doesn't really work. Similarly, the fact that neither dramatically nor thematically do the individual stories intersect makes for a play without a plot. Five Characters in Search of a Good Night's Sleep becomes simply an extended conceit with insomnia serving as a metaphor for life. However, despite such caveats, we'd recommend you treat yourself to a night in the theatre that showcases the best of the art of acting.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Bessell Photography.

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

The Prince ★★★★★ Southwark Playhouse | Sep 15 - Oct 8, 2022

A Different Stage ★★★★★ Duke of York's Theatre | Aug 30 - Sep 25, 2022

A Night At The Kabuki ★★★★★ Sadler's Wells Theatre | September 22 - 24, 2022

Love All ★★★★★ Jermyn Street Theatre | Sep 8 - Oct 8, 2022

Antigone ★★★★ Regent's Park Open Air Theatre | September 3 - 24, 2022

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo ★★★★★ Sadler's Wells Peacock Theatre | September 6 - 17, 2022

Barb Jungr sings Leonard Cohen ★★★★★ The Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zédel | September 2, 2022

Silence ★★★★ Donmar Warehouse | September 1 - 17, 2022

RIDE - A New Musical ★★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Aug 25 - Sep 17, 2022

Berlin ★★★ Etcetera Theatre | August 23 - 27, 2022

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings