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Video: Janice Kerbel at Tate Britain

by Janice Kerbel on 8 September 2007

Janice Kerbel's Nick Silver Can't Sleep is a radio play originally written as part of Artangel's Nights of London commissions, that was performed for the first time live in front of an audience at Tate Britain. Kerbal's description of it is 'a radio play for insomniacs', takes the tropes of various nocturnal plants as the starting points for its character and plot, and weaves a beautiful tale of plants destined never to be together, because of their botanical characteristics:

'Nick Silver (Nicotiana sylvestris), a nocturnal subtropical perennial in bloom, longs for Cereus Grand (Selenicereus grandiflorus), an exotic climbing perennial who blooms just one night a year.'

The script was delivered by excellent actors in a simple line up, performed deliberately at dusk to infuse the atmosphere of the tale. The play lasts 20 minutes, apparently just a little longer than it takes to fall comfortably asleep.

Janice Kerbel's Nick Silver Can't Sleep is a radio play originally written as part of Artangel's Nights of London commissions, that was performed for the first time live in front of an audience at Tate Britain. Kerbal's description of it is 'a radio play for insomniacs', takes the tropes of various nocturnal plants as the starting points for its character and plot, and weaves a beautiful tale of plants destined never to be together, because of their botanical characteristics:

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