Sleep No More, Interactive theater in Chelsea

I went to an event at The McKittrick Hotel this week for the latest production put on by Punchdrunk Theater called Sleep No More.  Not so sure that this kind of thing is for me but I will say it is interesting, brilliant and totally different all rolled up into one. 

It is interactive theater.  Think of a haunted house with Macbeth being acted throughout the house although you probably wouldn't realize it was Macbeth unless someone told you. At least I wouldn't of.

You walk into a very dark place and you are given a mask.  A mask must be worn at all times.  Then you are to wander through out the five floors.  Conceptually the idea is to follow one of the actors as they interact with the space and the other actors.  I admit, I did not do that.  I just wandered in as many rooms as possible including closets just to see what was there. 

The set design is incredible.  Apothecary shops, graveyards, childrens clothing hanging off the ceiling, blood stained beds, naked actors, lots of smoke and low lights, offices, bedrooms, etc.  Just wild.  At the end you find yourself at the bar where they are now serving punch ( liquor license coming ) with quite an amazing jazz band.  Not so sure people should be drinking and strolling here.

Bottom line, not for me but if it is your kind of thing, don't miss it.  BTW, picture above is a no-no but I couldn't help myself. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. artyowza

    I love that you were curious enough to go into the closets……. I always have the question in mind….. how does this operate?

    1. Gotham Gal

      Get a ticket for ur time slot and stand in line. They let you in and tellyou to look everywhere

  2. Anonymous

    I didn’t think it was my type of thing the first time I saw it (in Boston). Then it began to grow on me…day by day…as smells and other triggers recalled various rooms and things I’d seen. I also learned how much cool stuff I missed by talking to a couple of other people about their experiences (and they learned about stuff they missed that I had seen). So I managed to go back…once, before the sold-out run closed, and tried really hard to see and experience as much as I could, but still missed out on a lot, and just plain wanted more.This past weekend, I saw four performances in three nights, and still didn’t see anything, but was thrilled with what I saw, touched, smelled, and (especially) heard, as the sound and music is phenomenal throughout (sometimes there are two or more different sonic “landscapes” audible in certain locations).I wasn’t given anything to drink by an actor, like my second visit in Boston, but (in brief private interactions) I was given a candy by a sexy witch, told a story by a lovely young blonde, anointed by and prayed with Banquo as his son, and immobilized briefly on a couch by a very hot nurse.The players are gorgeous, the dancing (mostly modern, some ballroom) is spectacular, there are very few lines spoken except in private, and there’s a little quiet singing here and there by actors (plus the live band in the bar).This is a dark ride, and not for anyone under 16. I doubt there’s any other show running in the US where overly-enthusiastic audience members risk injury by chasing after actors in dark rooms and up and down staircases. Sitting passively in a theater, whether watching an IMAX 3D movie or a live-action play, even in a “theater in the round”, simply doesn’t hold a candle to that. (And, yes, there are lots of lit candles in Sleep No More.)

    1. Anonymous

      Sorry; I meant I still didn’t see _everything_!!