The Space has made its name producing poignant political drama and The Sleeper is no exception from that. A young woman travelling on a train alone finds a pair of eyes in her bunk bed. At first, she is scared but once she realises whom those eyes belong to, she is determined to help. A woman not unlike herself, travelling alone, but this one is undocumented.
The Sleeper explores the refugee crisis from the point of view of three characters, setting up different scenarios to solve the issue at hand until they realise that they can’t, this is bigger than them and one refugee is not like the other, solving the woman’s problem will hardly be anything more than a drop in the ocean. The playwright uses the irregular narrative to provoke discussion in the audience and ask potent questions that require more than a simple answer. The dialogue is clear and sprinkled sporadically with comedic relief, expertly delivered by Joshua Jacob and Michelle Farenheim whilst Sarah Agha provides a dynamic balance with her strong but mostly silent performance.
The set design by Jasmine Swan is appropriate for the piece, in a clean Brechtian style but both the set and the staging could do with better use of levels as I struggled to see some of the action. Either that or booster seats for the people in the back. The Sleeper is an interesting piece with an important message but it lacks an edge to it. A strong start but could use some further development.
Written by @lattelepjandi