THE RUSSIAN SLEEP EXPERIMENT
18th May 6pm
The Russian Sleep Experiment explores the concept of creating an unstoppable army that doesn’t need to sleep, in order to create the ‘super soldier’. The cast of five actors all offered strong performances, creating a tone that was uncomfortable for the audience and engaging. The descent into chaos as the helpless doctor watches on unwilling and the unable to stop what he has created was unnerving to watch, bringing up questions such as the limits of science and just because we can do something doesn’t mean that we should.
This devised performance lasts just under an hour and follows many plot lines, which at times can feel disjointed and hard to follow as elements can feel thrown rather than carefully plotted. The result of this is you can feel like the characters are thrown at you and the interaction and relationship can feel rushed or and a little underdeveloped, this isn’t helped by the fact the world of the play, especially place and time, is not always clear. The interaction with the audience was also unclear, I was unsure if I was in the action or not.
The split staging of this piece was also very well handled giving the feeling of two separate rooms, the stage acting as a doctors office while the stage being the basement which the four characters were trapped. However the sightlines of this were problematic as I often found it hard to see what action was taking place on the floor or to the sides as there were other audience members in front of me.
Overall I love the concept of this work, the idea that we as people are always wanting to push ourselves as human beings without questioning if we should. This work has a lot of potential and it is at strong stage for them to work on it to develop it once the company work out what they the piece is saying.