A powerful, politically charged re-imagining of HG Wells’ novel The Sleeper Awakes

Drums and synths duo AK/DK, are joined by Richard Jackson of Plume Animation and actor Ian Shaw to create a live, audio-visual adaptation of HG Wells’ dystopian novel The Sleeper Awakes.

In this multi-sensory performance, the group tell the challenging story of a society that has developed into an all-encompassing plutocracy and the price that the population must pay for its stability.

H.G. Wells’ portrayal of a future controlled by a powerful and oppressive state is brought to life by animation, live music, film and theatre. A confused and desperate insomniac, at odds with the world about them, suddenly falls into a deep coma. They awake two-hundred and three years later only to discover that whilst they slept, they have amassed a huge fortune and power. They have unwittingly become the figurehead of a deeply hierarchical and authoritarian regime. The masses, though downtrodden and oppressed, dream of a time when ‘the sleeper’ will awake and lead them to freedom.

Drawing parallels from historical events, modern issues and present day struggles the group present a contemporary setting for this novel, written in the late nineteenth century, that resonates with our society now more than ever.  As the whirling and immersive imagery of this dystopian world reel around the audience, one is left questioning how far off this dark future actually is? Will the people, like the Sleeper, eventually wake up to combat the ever growing forces of greed, mechanisation and capitalism – or will they be forever doomed to repeat the mistakes of their past?

Supported by Shoreditch Townhall, Arts Council England and the Lottery Grant Award.

With further support from Lou Cope and Laura Ducceschi, The Works at Brighton Dome.

Credit and thanks to the author, H.G. Wells.

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