Sleep No More

October 23, 2012

By Koseli.

Since we’re deep in orange and black decor and costume planning, it’s fitting to share Sleep No More. Have you heard of it? Critics call it interactive-theater. I might call it a sophisticated haunted house!

Audience members are encouraged to touch, pick-up, and explore within the 10,000 sq. ft. of Mckittrick Hotel. At the same time, brilliant actors silently play out haunting, simultaneous scenes that build into a modern adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. During the three-hour performance, masked audience members run to keep up with actors, explore dark passages that lead to secret rooms, and independently piece together the dark plot.

It’s impossible to see everything as there are simultaneous scenes constantly playing out, which means that all audience members have a unique experience. I was on the look-out for celebrities (they have a reputation for making an appearance) but just as our friends told us, our white masks kept us in the dark as to who our fellow audience members were. I don’t want to give too many details away but we walked out slightly shivering and spooked, wanting to get back inside to explore a bit more of the dark mysteries within!

(My recommended accessories for attendees: a good pair of walking shoes, an iron constitution, and a fainting couch!)

Photos by Print.

P.S. — As a word of caution, Sleep No More does have two scenes with nudity, but it’s easy to step into another room and find an alternate scene playing out. And, as goes with anything worthwhile, Sleep No More has inspired the inevitable meme-ified blog homage!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna October 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

An amazing play that I would see again in a heartbeat!


2 Koseli October 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Wasn’t it? I can’t tell friends to go enough. One of my most favorite New York experiences, forever.


3 Bryony October 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

This sounds amazing! I saw a similar thing as a student back in London in 2008. A company called Punchdrunk put on a bunch of Edgar Allan Poe vignettes exactly like this (actors ran all overthe Battersea Arts Centre; audience followed them in cloaks and masks) under the title of “The Masque of the Red Death”. If this is anything like that, I’d be there in a heartbeat! Thanks for sharing. :)


4 Koseli October 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

That sounds really interesting, Bryony. It was haunting to feel like you’re there, but the actors can’t see you. But as the play progressed, actors started looking straight at audience members. It was so intense.


5 Amy October 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

Bryony, Punchdrunk is the same company that puts on Sleep No More. Thanks for posting this, Koseli. It’s so nice to see theatre represented on one of my favorite blogs– I’m getting my MFA in Theatre. :)


6 Connie | Daydream In Color October 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Wow! That looks like so much fun! I’d totally be squirmy and squealy all night I’m sure.


7 Koseli October 31, 2012 at 7:51 am

I was so unsettled the whole time. But not in a haunted house sort of way. It’s quite an adrenaline rush.


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