For anyone who has ever had trouble sleeping, but especially for those who regularly lie awake at night, willing themselves to go to sleep – Telia Nevile has written a collection of songs to celebrate this terrible torment.
The start of the show will be familiar to anyone who has used a sleep app – a soft-spoken voice gently reminding you that you should have stopped looking at screens an hour ago and that you should now be lying down in a room that you only use for sleep. Forget reading or getting dressed or having sex, this so-called bed room, is for slumber only. Distractions are the reason you can’t sleep.
But also thinking about your day, having an over-active imagination, having anxiety or someone snoring next to you. Or being patronised by a sleep app. There are so many things that can keep your mind racing, even as you lie there, eyes closed, pretending to be unconscious.
Nevile’s poems and songs are ditties and odes and raps to struggling to get shut-eye and as the show progresses, so does time across a night of restlessness. They are clever and funny and in the almost-dark of the Old Council Chambers at Trades Hall, they could be lullabies. Not that this show will put you to sleep, of course. It’s more of a strange celebration for when you are lying awake, staring at the ceiling, the alarm getting closer and closer, about which you can do nothing.
Insomniac Mixtape is a charming show and totally relatable. And if you want to be in bed early to try to drift off, the show is at 6pm or you can listen to it as an audio piece on demand.