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KOSMOS Theatre: Kafka Insomnia

9. & 11.11.2023, for adults

A visual performance with live music by award-winning Lithuanian KOSMOS Theatre.

October 2. Sleepless night. For the third time in a row. I fall asleep quickly, but after an hour I wake up as if I had inserted my head into a missing hole. From then on, all night until five, you are asleep, but at the same time vivid dreams keep you from fallingasleep. Formally, I am asleep beside myself, and at the time I have to struggle with dreams. -Franz Kafka, Diaries 1910-1923

Visual theatre performance accompanied by live music tells a realistically dreamy story of a sleepless night by Czech writer Franz Kafka. Wakeful dreaming – is it a creative method, a lifestyle, a consequence of illness or the core reason of genius literature by Kafka? A dream created by insomnia and invading tangible reality, makes the artist’s work conditional, full of unexpected images, extended feeling of time, premature absurd, existentialism or even surrealistic approach leading step by step with consistent descriptions, common in the school of realism.

Drama acting, live music, video projections, contemporary object theatre and sound manipulation dive into paranoiac and suffering of the legendary writer. On stage insomnia symptoms, visual and sound hallucinations collide with search of never ending and never finished Kafka world limits.

The performance premiered at the ConTempo festival in Kaunas Chamber Theatre in August 2029. In.2021 Kafka Insomnia received a nomination for “Best music in performance” (Composer Andrius Šiurys) in Lithuanian National performing arts awards “Golden stage cross” and in 2021 an award for “Best music in performance” (Composer Andrius Šiurys) in Kaunas performing arts awards “Fortuna”.

WORKING GROUP Director: Žilvinas Vingelis Composer: Andrius Šiurys Designer: Paulina Simutytė Video projectors: Kornelijus Jaroševičius Actors: Gytis Laskovas, Balys Ivanauskas and Paulina Simutytė Live music: saxophone Danielius Pancerovas and guitar Justinas Žilys Photos: Donatas Stankevičius Producer: Darius Vizbaras, KOSMOS THEATRE

The performance brought to TIP-Fest programme by IMPULSE! – New Focus on Puppetry and Visual Theatre project. The project is funded by EU:s Creative Europe Culture strand.


Thu 9.11.2023 at 17:00 Sat 7.11.2023 at 17:00 Åbo Svenska Teater, Studio stage Eerikinkatu 13, Turku

Duration: 2h 15min with intermission Age recommendation: 12 + Language: without words (English) Tickets 17 € / 28€ Åbo Svenska Teater or online from

More information from Åbo Svenska Teater’s webpage

Discussion 10.11.2023

Translating Kafka’s work trough visuals, music and words  Discussion about writer Franz Kafka’s work and influence.

Time: Friday 10 November at 17:00
Place: Tehdas Theatre foyer, Manilla Itäinen Rantakatu 64, Turku
Language: English

Franz Kafka (1883–1924), was German-speaking Bohemian writer whose work still inspires many contemporary artists. Turku International Puppetry Festival programme proudly features a full length visual theatre performance Kafka Insomnia by Lithuanian Kosmos Theatre. Kafka’s never-ending world limits are translated on stage with live music, video projections and drama acting. 

Turku-based translator Panu Turunen has translated Kafka’s diaries in Finnish and the book will be released later this Autumn. What makes Kafka’s work current today? This is the topic discussed by Director of Kafka Insomnia Žilvinas Vingelis and Composer Andrius Šiurysdiscuss Kafka’s world with translatorPanu Turunen.