Don’t Wake Me

Synopsis:

‘Don’t Wake Me: The Ballad Of Nihal Armstrong’ is an intensely dramatic and moving true story of a mother’s tireless battles and inspiring triumphs in her struggle for her disabled son’s rights.
It is a story of severe disability, of battles won against all odds, of struggles, challenges and the frustrations of being misunderstood.
But above all, it is a story of a mother-son relationship unlike any other. A story of a mother’s everlasting love for a very special child, who, through it all, shows intelligence, innocence, charm and a wicked sense of humour.

Artist bio:

Jaye Griffiths (born 1963) is a British stage and television actress. Jaye Griffiths trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has appeared in many television dramas, including a starring role as Ros Henderson in the BBC hit series Bugs, which ran for four series. She can often be found in police or hospital dramas – she has appeared in The BillDoctorsAlways and EveryoneInstinct and Silent Witness. Other credits include CasualtyBetween the LinesDrop the Dead DonkeyKingdom and Skins. She has also presented two BBC Schools Television series, “Watch” and “Storytime”.

Director’s bio:

Guy was born in Lahore in 1941. He was a great student and he won a coveted British Petroleum Apprenticeship Award to go to Cambridge and a traditional career was in prospect.
But at university he discovered the theatre and embarked on a very different journey. It began as an actor, then while out of work moved into writing TV plays which became for a while the central thread of his career. At the same time he began directing in the theatre and in 1974 took on his most ambitious project, the founding of a professional theatre company in what was then the new town development of Basingstoke. He ran the Horseshoe Theatre Company, mainly operating out of the Haymarket Theatre, for seven years and subsequently remained on the Board for many years. After he had been acting and writing for a few years an invitation came out of the blue from his long time friend, the writer Carey Harrison, to direct his play “In a Cottage Hospital” at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. The Artistic Director Max Stafford-Clark, at the beginning of his distinguished career, agreed to take the risk and a third strand to his career was launched.

Audience Reviews

What have audiences said about Don’t Wake Me: The Ballad Of Nihal Armstrong?
“What an extraordinary piece of work… brave, complex and funny as well as incredibly moving.” Roy Williams, playwright
“Spellbinding, heartening… a unique theatrical experience.’” Prunella Scales/Timothy West
“A truly remarkable evening… Jaye Griffiths radiates talent and feeling… The direction was both meticulous and unobtrusive… full of good writing…” Michael Pennington, actor, writer, director
“A wonderful piece of theatre … Brave, moving but also warm, witty and gritty… Brilliantly performed and staged..” Jenny Buckman, Director, teacher, writer, formerly Head of Acting, RADA
“An amazing piece of writing and superb acting.” Julie Bindel,Guardian journalist
“I was completely swept up in the story … The ballad form works well.” Dame Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Really beautifully written… incredibly moving…” Heather Harvey, Research and Development Manager, POPPY Project
“What a wonderful evening … funny and moving at the same time… Beautifully acted by Jaye Griffiths…” Helen Ryan, Actress
“Brilliant, courageous writing, brilliantly acted and directed.”Julia Bard, Writer and director
“Beautifully written, informative, passionate, humorous… Terrific structure… So well served by Jaye Griffiths and Guy Slater…” Anthony Clark, Artistic Director, Hampstead Theatre, 2003-2010
“So moving and memorable – this production stayed for ages in my thoughts.” Jackie Rowley, TV journalist, former Communications Director, Liberal-Democrats
“A remarkable depiction of human grief, resourcefulness, courage, and determination.  Jaye Griffiths gives an extraordinarily moving performance.   Guy Slater’s direction, using the simplest tools – a cot, an empty wheel chair – brings the absent child to life.” James Cox, BBC journalist, former presenter, “The World This Weekend
“The play was amazingly powerful – it stayed with me for a long time afterwards” Susan Humphry, C.E.O of I.A.P.A
“This is the most Epic love story I have seen for a long time. If you want your theatre, to challenge you, move you  and make you look at your own lives and loves with renewed vigour then drop everything and see this play now!“ Gurinder Chadha OBE, Film Director

Promo link: 2 minutes 11 seconds