I.A. - Insomniacs Anonymous

BATS Theatre, Wellington

14/02/2007 - 17/02/2007

NZ Fringe Festival 2007

Production Details

By Kate Fitzroy & Libby List
Directed by Rachel Lenart

RUA2 Productions

A disturbed comedy about sleeplessness in the city

Get up …
See a Doctor, take a bath, drink warm milk, count sheep, face north, breath deeply …
Get up …
See a bath, take a doctor, count a drink, milk sheep, breath north, warm face deeply …
Get up …

After six nights of lost sleep, expect slowed…speech, tremors, memory lapse, confusion concerning one’s own identity, unusual behaviour, paranoia.

Hallucinations, OCD’s, ADHD, paranoia, psychoses, stress, depression & vampirism are some of the weird and wonderful sleep deprivation side affects explored in Kate Fitzroy’s Fringe comedy I.A. – Insomniac’s Anonymous.

Insomnia can make people go mad and is used as an instrument of torture. Sleep is vital to our survival, but what happens when we don’t get our recommended 7-10 hours a night?

Catherine can’t sleep, she doesn’t know why and things are starting to get weird…She starts to forget who she is and strange changes are taking place.  Who is the Vampire that keeps entering her room and why would ANYONE want to stay awake as long as they can just to break the world record???

“Hi Catherine, come in and take a seat.  So what seems to be the problem?  You can’t sleep?  You…how long has this been going on?  Three days?  You’ve been awake for three days?  Ok…well…do you want to know how long I’ve been awake???  Since 1998!”

Kate Fitzroy has a BA in Film and Theatre from Victoria University. She has acted in numerous Summer Shakespeare and Young and Hungry shows, TV and Film includes; ‘Dark Knight’, ‘The Tribe’ and the feature film ‘Event 16’ directed by Derek Pearson.  After the success of The Cottage at BATS in the Fringe 2006 Kate joined the cast of Multi-media theatre piece I ain’t nothin’ but a glimmer in the dark she said performed at Shed 11 in October 2006.

Kate’s future projects include Brainpower, February 21st-25th at BATS and A Bright Room Called Day in April, also at BATS.

WITH Kate Fitzroy

Theatre , Solo ,

45 mins, no interval

Sadists, the lot of us!

Review by Michael Wray 21st Feb 2007

Have you ever lain awake at night, unable to sleep? Ever wondered what it must be like to experience sleeplessness for several nights in a row? Well wonder no more, as Kate Fitzroy is here to show all.

It’s a simple format. We see Kate working for an overbearing boss as a coffee barista, failing to sleep at night and frenziedly training for a bike race. In between, she slavishly maintains a list of things to do that has reached in to the hundreds and become more outlandish as sleep deprivation takes its toll. Letters to Helen Clark are also composed, and the PM’s silent refusal to reply fails to deter each new missive.

For all its simplicity, the show works really well. We begin to care, perhaps less for Kate’s wellbeing as much as seeing what effect another sleepless night will produce. Sadists, the lot of us!

This is one of the most natural performances that I’ve seen Fitzroy deliver. She fills the role with ease, so much so that you wonder how much is factual. Just how many nights were spent awake to research the role?

The ending when it comes is the perfect way to end the play at a length that is optimum for the idea. The plot wraps up in a neat way, which in hindsight is probably the only way this play could have ended. Most importantly, the conclusion is delivered before the play descends into repetition. Writers Kate Fitzroy and Libby List deserve a good night’s sleep for extracting just the right amount of mileage from the idea behind the play.


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Full-on performance

Review by Ewen Coleman [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 16th Feb 2007

Kate Fitzroy has been a regular on the Fringe Festival scene for some time now and that has combined with her experiences with groups like Theatre Militia to make her a very formable performer, as witnessed in her solo show I.A (Insomniacs Anonymous), the current late night show playing at Bats.

With co-writer Libby List they have put together a very tightly scripted piece, perceptive but full of humour, that covers the increasing dilemma an insomniac gets into in trying to get to sleep. The more they try the less successful they are.  So the insomniac, to fill in the waking hours, makes lists, writes letters, watches TV, makes more lists, thinks about work, in this instance a busy coffee shop, and makes even more lists.  A visit to A and E doesn’t help either, nor does writing to the Prime Minister.  That is until the PM replies. 

This show is a full on performance from Fitzroy who is confident and totally in tune with her material, exuding loads of energy as she moves from one character to another, never missing a beat.  However, like many solo performances involving multiple characters, the lines become a little blurred between which character is which and a little more definition between Kate the insomniac and those she interacts with would make this great show even better.


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Well worth staying awake for

Review by John Smythe 15th Feb 2007

After another late night, not enough sleep, a full day’s work, a stress-engendering traffic jam, an earlier show and accepting a complimentary wine, the new 9.30 show at BATS – where a full house still generates a soporific warmth despite their air-cooling efforts – faces a major challenge: keep me awake. And oh the irony if Insomniac’s Anonymous had found me nodding …

Not that I don’t nod, I do, in delighted recognition at the heightened states of human behaviour Kate Fitzroy plays out, in a script she co-wrote with Libby List and as directed by Rachel Lenart.

Bouncing between a bed, a desk, an excercycle and a large leather arm chair, Fitzroy evokes the world of Kate (who else?), a barista (what else?), who sees her boss Vivenne as monstrous and who – being an activist, is compiling a massive ‘to do’ list on continuous stationery while writing 740 ‘letters to Helen’ (why not?) …

Clear through lines of plot, including a quest to enter a bike race, allow the increasingly bizarre diversions to enhance the show without subverting it. Especially impressive are the time / place transitions, achieved instantly with little more than the logic of the story and maybe a light / sound change (Felix Preval) to guide us.

Characters range from the said Vivienne and an over-worked Doctor to someone trying to get into the Guinness Book of Records and a well-meaning activist called Parsley. The penultimate moment, where Kate tries to focus on what she really wants to do, is truly poignant. And the ending, when an unexpected letter arrives …. has the desired effect on every level.

Well worth staying awake for!


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