Frank and Margaret are the first dysfunctional couple. Frank hides his insecurities in an alcoholic haze, his anger macho and unarticulated. This leaves his long-suffering wife, Margaret, neurotic and fearing the loneliness of his absence. The second couple, Pete and Dawn, are defined by Pete’s indifference to Dawn’s mental illness, which he avoids by spouting the narrative structure of his favourite films. Detached and withdrawn, Dawn eventually succumbs to her psychoses. The third sleepless night offers a different perspective on two of the protagonists, who have begun a relationship of their own.
Although provided with only a limited set, the performance was well-directed, using the entirety of the space that was on offer. This entailed the actors going into and behind the audience, the sound being cleverly structured to add atmosphere beyond the stage. It was a well-acted piece, although I felt that sometimes that the actors struggled with the colloquialisms in the dialogue, and didn’t always appear comfortable. However, this didn’t detract from the overall performances, which capably carried the weight of the subject matter.
It is a rather short piece, but this is offset by its intensity. I didn’t feel short-changed, and I can only see that wanting more is a compliment.