‘The Uneasy Sleeps Of Max Maxwell’ Theatre Tour – How You Can Get Involved

 Helen Billam

We are delighted to support Riding Lights Theatre Company through our Scientists in Congregations programme to develop and stage a new touring production centring on artificial intelligence in modern-day life. The Uneasy Sleeps of Max Maxwell will be on a national tour from January 30th-March 4th 2023, and Riding Lights are currently welcoming suggestions of venues where the play can be staged.

Cutting-edge computer programmer Max Maxwell is days away from launching his new ‘ethical’ A.I. system, while his wife Ruth, vicar of the local church, is doing her best to support him – as well as their teenage son Sam, avid consumer of social media, and her mum, Helen, experiencing dementia in a local care home, where there’s talk of introducing robot carers. In his sleep-deprived state, a few colourful dreams and imaginary conversations with his ‘project’ help Max to explore the possibilities of what A.I. could become in the not-so-distant future. All this provides an entertaining human story to spark questions about the ways in which A.I. already does, and surely will, interact with our lives.

After the play, there will be a short interval followed by live Q&A with expert scientists from the local area. The whole duration of the event, including the performance, interval, and post-show Q&A, will take approximately 120 minutes. The play is suitable for adults and young people aged 11+ and is not suitable for younger children.


If you’re interested in hosting a performance…

Please get in touch with Rachel Sanders at or phone 01904 655317.

An ideal venue will allow for 120-200 seats with a flat, empty space. The playing area should be 5m x 5m with 4m clearance above. The company will bring a set and will require access to the venue from about 2pm before the performance. The company will bring their own staging, lighting and PA system operated by their own technician. Please let Riding Lights know in advance if there are things we should know about your acoustics. The company will require a minimum of 5 x 2-gang 13amp sockets.

In advance of the performance, Riding Lights will need a plan of the venue (in metres or feet) showing all entrances, identifying the audience entrance, and available power outlets.

There will be 6 people in the company, 2 men and 2 women (cast) and 2 technicians. The actors will need a dressing room and somewhere to store personal belongings securely within the venue. They will also need space to unload and securely park a Sprinter van (6.5m in length) and 1 small van. We ask you to provide a hot, light meal at the venue or very nearby, approx. two and a half hours before the show, normally around 5pm. The company will also need somewhere to sleep and have breakfast. This is usually in the homes of local people connected with your church or community. The cast and crew work late every night (similar to shift work) and won’t be up first thing in the morning!

Riding Lights will provide all marketing and publicity materials and will run a central box office online and by phone. A small batch of tickets can be available for local sale if desired. Tickets will be priced at £10 for full admission and £5 for young people under 18 and full-time students (with all box office income returning to Riding Lights).

You may need a Public Entertainments Licence. If you do not have one, you may need to apply for a temporary licence. You should always have a discussion with your Local Authority about this and follow their advice. Riding Lights cannot be responsible for any costs involved in getting appropriate licences or in any associated costs. More information can be found here.

Riding Lights are aware of the risks presented by Covid-19. The safety of their staff and audiences is very important to Riding Lights. The company will make regular risk assessments in respect of Covid-19, including the use of lateral flow tests if necessary and taking into account any government guidelines.

Thank you for your support!

Article By Helen Billam


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