Sleeping, waking and dreaming are the stuff of performance in the ambitious hybrid production Sleep/Wake currently running in The Great Hall. Director/designer Sam Trubridge and his cast have collaborated with, Professor Philippa Gander and the Massey University Sleep/Wake Research Centre to develop the show...

The performance presents a plethora of information about sleep, ranging from the purely scientific through the mythological to personal narrative. The text is formally delivered by an imperious Orator (Jamie Burgess) dressed like a Minoan priestess minus the snake, and in parallel with the text, the cast variously inhabit the key stages of sleeping, dreaming and waking. Video sequences and live feed splash across the walls, and a moody and at times threatening sound score (Bevan Smith) enlivens events.

Vignettes range from the literal to the surreal and absurd, taking place in and around a specially constructed Sleep Room with a collapsible back wall which allows visual access to the cavernous space beyond. This works brilliantly as a set piece, and also provides a visual metaphor for the way sleeping seems to open us to the vast universe of our dreams.

There's a rich integration of choreographed movement, ranging from ordinary moving around to highly risky contemporary dance. Most impressive is the intense "pre-dreaming" sequence from dancer-sleepers Elizabeth Barker and Maria Dabrowska, from light, restless sleep into an increasingly agitated duet which includes sweeping back the sheets and moving in, over, along and around the beds, mixing astonishing leaps and dives with prone moments.

Dream logic governs the final section as The Orator morphs into Orpheus who can't resist a final look at Eurydice. He forces his face into the glowing hand basin til all the water is on the floor, and sings an operatic lament into the resonant drainpipe, then the others start dancing and slipping and sliding across the watery lake of his sorrow, and toss feathers into the air.