Preparing for a 24 hour performance

2nd October 2018

Actor Sarmad Khoosat has described how he has been shutting himself in a box in preparation for his role in No Time To Sleep, where he will spend 24 hours embodying a prisoner on death row who is counting down to his own execution.

“I had to grow a beard and lose weight, but the biggest challenge is to feel the confinement,” said Sarmad in an interview with Instep Today.

“I’ve been closing myself in a box for hours…”

Performed in Lahore and streamed live around the world, No Time To Sleep is a 24 hour durational performance which offers a rare glimpse into the tedium and fear of a life lost on death row.

The meditative piece will be screened live at events at the EU Parliament, UK Parliament and Cambridge University on 10 October, World Day Against the Death Penalty.

The role of ‘Prisoner Z’, a character based on death row prisoner Zulfiqar Ali Khan, has been described as the toughest of actor Sarmad Khoosat’s life.

Stepping onto a set complete with a functioning toilet and the sound of mosquitoes, Sarmad will eat a ‘last meal’ and experience ‘ghusl’, a bathing ritual normally given to bodies after death, but which death row prisoners in Pakistan are, disturbingly, given before they are hanged.

Read Instep Today’s full interview with Sarmad Khoosat here.

No Time To Sleep is a collaboration between Highlight Arts, Justice Project Pakistan and Olomopolo Media.

Watch it live 9 October 8pm – 10 October 8pm at, and follow us on Twitter for updates.

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