The Man Who Woke Up Dead

A Film Noir Thriller


The Man Who Woke Up Dead

a Creative Industries Trafford co-production

When a mysterious man is rescued by an unsuspecting nurse, their world is thrown into paralysing doubt. As their stories unravel we uncover a web of deceit, betrayal and manipulation where nothing is quite what it seems.

Exploring the divide between fact and fiction Square Peg Theatre create a dark, claustrophobic nightmare akin to the thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock, where the truth is just a figment of your imagination.

The Man Who Woke Up Dead premiered at Waterside Arts Centre June 27th 2013.



manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity

It wasn't until we finished making the play that the true story began to emerge. At first sight we thought we were telling the story of a Cold War espionage. We had a broad range of influences most natably Alfred Hitchcock and the cinema of Film Noir and so it was easy to think of the story through these frameworks. However as the story began to develop something darker began to emerge. At the time we didn't know what to call it, then we discovered it already had a name, gaslighting. A fun example of the concept is found in Roald Dahl's The Twits as the husband stealthy lengthens his wife's walking stick in order to convince her that she is shrinking.

The Man Who Woke Up Dead takes this concept, turns it on it's head, and asks what if this form of psychological manipulation wasn't done in malice but as a form of protection?


To The Stage

The Man Who Woke Up Dead was the winning commission from Creative Industries Trafford's new artist development platform To The Stage.

The production was selected for the Library Theatre's Re:Play Festival 2014 and went on National Tour Autumn 2014.

Opening Night at WAC – Katie, Michael, Phil, Owen & Joel


Evelyn ScottKatie Robinson
Doctor AtwellPhil Minns
The ManMichael White

Creative Team

Written & Directed by:Michael White
Sound Design by:Owen Rafferty
Lighting Design by:Joel Clements
Photography by:David Oates
Produced by:Dep Arts

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