REVIEW: Sleep No More at Riverhead Theatre

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First written in 2003, David Gillespie and Colin Wakefield had a hugely successful play that was soon snapped up by many theatre companies up and down the country.

Since then, Sleep No More has been revived several times and has been adapted successfully for many different performance spaces, including hotels.

Breaking away from the norm of elaborate sets, Di Flower captured the eeriness of an old, abandoned theatre well with a bare stage and minimal lighting.

This made an excellent contrast to the intricate lighting used in the supernatural scenes, which strongly echoed the other-worldly Weird Sisters’ scenes in Macbeth.
In addition to this, the repeated use of voice overs added to the theme of the supernatural and, the dangers of playing with the devil.

The clever use of recordings, used frequently at the start, gradually faded towards the end of the play, as the paranormal activities were performed on stage, which represented the ghost becoming more and more involved in the other characters lives.

Although the stage seemed emptier without lots of set, the stage was used well.

Because of this, the space became more versatile and, therefore, the special effects became more effective and enhanced the actors’ performances.

It was very refreshing to see the more modern techniques being utilised in what is perceived to be a more ‘traditional’ theatre.