Arriving down the long drive, new born lambs unintentionally risking their lives as they sprung in the way of cars, Firle House was visible in the distance at dusk.

Surrounded by buildings including a church and riding school, peeking above the tree tops, it felt like a perfect setting for an Agatha Christie novel. So when the evening’s host quietly introduced his carved walking stick topped with a tiny badger head, the eerie atmosphere was only heightened.

After an incredible walk through woods, by a lake and alongside houses serenaded by both stunning and intriguing voices, which set the tone for the evening, the formally dressed choir picked attendees off one-by-one.

Far from a murder mystery, the caring approach set an incredible tone which continued for the next 11 fascinating hours.

Settling down in one of the 50 beds set up in Firle Place’s old riding school, the audience were treated to a stunning performance by talented singers, both in the volunteer choir and professional. Harmonious melodies ranged from sweet to obtrusive, but always perfect and arrestingly impressive.

Visuals drew out different experiences of sleep – lucid, restorative, restless, about counting sheep or bedtime stories – to create a fascinating experience as audience members battled or surrendered to different stages of sleep.

The programme listed 11 parts which cover the 11 hours – including a daunting "second sleep" after a section entitled "wildest dreams". Shrouding the night in secrets served to maximise its impact.

At points the experience was disruptive. But the production was entirely gentle and kind. The night was perfectly summed up in a promotional video: "the best worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had".

The emotion in the morning wasn’t all down to sleep deprivation. The Arms of Sleep is a fascinating, impressive but also humbling experience that it was an honour to be part of.

Kimberly Middleton