It’s a cold, windy Melbourne night as I make my way to the La Mama Courthouse in Carlton. It’s been a long day, and I haven’t slept at all well the night before. Did you know that one in three Australians suffer mild to extreme sleep deprivation, and that insomnia and other diagnosable sleep disorders underlie up to seventy percent of visits to GPs in Australia? I didn’t.
In The Insomnia Project, four individuals face a sleepless night, kept awake for whatever reason, forced to face their insecurities, anxieties, loneliness. With the dawn ever approaching, we witness their descent into a kind of madness, of desperation and exhaustion.
“I have had insomnia since I was a teenager,” says writer, composer and director Natasha Moszenin. “Two years ago, I started writing the songs and text that make up the show…My aim in writing The Insomnia Project was to embody the sleeplessness experience. As we follow the four characters of the show through their long, sleepless night, we may recognise aspects of our own experience.”
Cast Jai Luke, Claire Nicholls, Fiona Scarlett and Andi Snelling bring light to her vision through their captivating performances and emotive vocals. At times humorous, and often relatable – how many times have we been roused by the shrill trill of our phones, only to discover it’s a wrong number? – the merging of light, shade, spoken word, motion, and jazz inspired songs creates a moving and profound experience.
“The Insomnia Project” is on at the La Mama Courthouse until August 9th. Details including booking tickets can be found on their website.