Big Wow in association with Richard Jordan Productions, Insomnobabble

Review in Issue 18-4 | Winter 2006

We all know that insomnia is the stuff of nightmares but who would have thought it could be so funny. In Insomnobabble (which was an eleventh-hour wild card addition to the Total Theatre Awards longlist), Big Wow took us on a high-octane, break-neck, anarchic trip through the life and mind of office worker Keith.

Keith (Matt Rutter) is trapped in a monotonous routine that begins to fracture into paranoia, delusion and chaos as his insomnia-fuelled angst takes hold. Tim Lynskey plays Everybody Else – a series of finely observed comic grotesques that populate Keith’s days and nights, real and imagined. The stripped-down set and everyday clothes liberate the two performers to make the most of their comic skills. Rutter’s expressive face conveys the increasing psychosis creeping into the repetition of his everyday routines, exploding into anarchic rebellion and then cringing back to remorse and confusion. Lynskey is superb as Everybody Else with wonderful comic timing and precision. He gives a performance tour de force (playing a dozen or so characters) in a scene where Keith joins an Insomniacs selfhelp group. The group descends into a fast-paced argument and riot whilst the highly-strung group leader desperately tries to keep it together and make Keith feel welcome. Lynskey’s precision, energy and timing are exhausting to watch and gained him a well deserved standing ovation from the audience. This is accessible comic physical theatre at its best.

Presenting Festival
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-4
p. 26