Nina Power, Author of One Dimensional Woman

Night-light skitters and skulks like a spider trapped in a long-forgotten room…an anonymous insomniac (Sinéad Rushe) lies face down in an insectoid machine, whilst her tormentor (Camille Litalien) – at times a spider, a sphinx, a demonic imaginary unfriend – tortures her with anxious questions (‘are you scared of heights? Are you afraid of drowning?’), snippets of nasty fairy stories and haunting jibes. The insomniac, eyes covered in vain with a sleeping mask, launches into memories and disturbing reveries of her own (trips to the British Museum to see the Egyptian mummies, car accidents, near-drowning mishaps) whilst her tormentor watches on, mocking and teasing with evident, malevolent glee. 

Litalien’s arachnid scuttling from the floor to the ceiling by way of a thick rope that she renders extraordinarily web-like by virtue of the way she twists and hangs in mid-air creates an aura of palpable menace – will her sleepless victim ever escape the intricate knots of anxiety that characterise their cruel and restless relationship? A moment of decision turns the tables and a final confrontation coincides exactly with a grateful, though no less eerie, moment of silence and rest.

Blasts of avant-noise give shape to the carefully choreographed and intensely physical performance, filling the darkened room (at points lit only by torchlight) with alien sound. Rushe and Litalien have created an anxious and brooding monster with their broken fables and darkly comic dialogue – a twisted meditation on fear and bedtime that lingers like wisps of a spider’s web that can’t quite be swept away…