somˈniloquy n. the act or habit of speaking during sleep.
Oxford English Dictionary
Somniloquy, a new monologue written by Craig Baxter for the 2013 Hotbed Festival, is being staged again as part of a four week run at London’s Theatre 503. The 25 minute piece, which is performed by Jasmine Hyde, follows a young woman through a night of observation at a sleep laboratory. Baxter wrote the monolougue in collaboration with sleep scientist Prof. Richard Horner as part of Menagerie Theatre Company’s ‘What’s Up Doc?’ scheme which pairs playwrights with thought leaders and academics. The practical issues of portraying someone sleeping on stage are overcome with imaginative set design by Nicky Bunch.
Jasmin Hyde also performs with Mark Oosterveen in Steve Waters’ Why Can’t We Live Together?, a powerful and moving new play tracking the relationship of a couple over the first decade of the 21st Century. The triple bill is completed with another curiously arresting performance from Oosterveen in Hisham Matar’s How to Begin.
The three plays will be performed together between 15th October and 9th November at Theatre 503 in Battersea, London.
Cambridge, London, Colchester and Bury will all play host to new writing this month as Managerie Theatre Company’s annual Hotbed Festival expands into new locations.
Specially commissioned one act plays, workshops and works-in-progress will feature at venues including the Cambridge Junction and London’s Soho Theatre.
A new project this year – ‘What’s Up Doc?‘ – pairs playwrights with expert thought leaders to produce new writing for the festival. Of particular note is Somniloquy by Craig Baxter, who has written a 20 minute monologue about sleep and its disorders with expert advice from Professor Richard Horner of the University of Toronto. The monologue will be performed by Jasmine Hyde and explores the function of different sleep cycles in the light of latest ideas on the dynamic nature of sleep.
Other new works at this year’s festival include What Did It Feel Like To Go To The Moon? by poet Lucy Sheerman (written in collaboration with Al Worden, command pilot on the 1971 Apllo 15 lunar mission) and an initial glimpse of A Broken Replicate: Altered Skin which looks at processes in genetics through theatre and dance.
The Hotbed Festival will be visiting three new locations during July after opening at its usual home in Cambridge.
Somniloquy will be performed in Cambridge on 12th and 14th July, in Colchester on 19th and 21st July and in London on the 23rd and 26th July.