Guest Blog: About Elephant & Castle by Lillian Henley

In our latest blog, Lillian Henley recounts an incident of her husband’s sleep talking.

Lillian is a composer and performer and also Tom’s wife. They have been married since 2013, and been together for 10 years. 

They made “Elephant & Castle” a sleepwalking show, part gig, part musical, now performing at Camden People’s Theatre 9th-Oct20th. Book tickets here.


It’s past midnight, probably past 1am and Tom is upright. His arm is moving towards me. His body follows and a dark shadow moves over my body towards the window. He leans on me and says “Whoa whoa whoa woe, shhh shuuu”

I have no idea what he is trying to do or what he is saying.

He is now leaning his body weight on me.

“Shhhuut… Shut the window. Fuck fuck fuck, the window’s open. Shut it quickly they’re gonna get out. Fuck fuck…fuck”

His body jerks and he is trying to climb over me.

“Fuck fuck fuck where are they? Where are there?”

I’m awake. “It’s ok, it’s ok,” I try to say.

His body listens and whilst he is still trying for the window, he somehow seems satisfied and relaxes. He turns around and makes a dive for the bed covers. He was also probably by now getting cold. He had no clothes on. He mumbles something else and then falls back to sleep.

Tom will regularly stir in the night, sleep walk and sleep talk, wailing over something related or unrelated to daytime events. We recently adopted two cats and I think they were beginning to dominate his nightime utterings too.

“Here kitty kitty here….” Tom has been away working in Cornwall and tells me, he slept walked the night before. He is staying in self catering accommodation and had been designated the top bunk. Whilst whispering “here kitty kitty” he had lowered himself, and started to search under the bed, using “swiping” hands to find the missing moggie. His colleague told him the story that morning.

“Please… tell me you were wearing pants Tom,” I say despairingly.