Sleep No More! A few months ago we purchased tickets for the Punchdrunk production of Sleep No More taking place at the old McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea. I have to start by saying that I was very nervous and it was an idea of my husbands that I was not sure about - I don't like scary things, so the idea of attending a theatre performance in an abandoned hotel at 11pm with people wearing scary masks wasn't on the top of my list! However, after having attending I take it all back, it was such a fantastic experience!
We arrived just before 11pm (our check-in time) and were each given a playing card which was our "room ticket" into the performance. As we waited for our numbers to be called we were entertained with a cocktail in the 20's inspired bar. Once we entered the performance we were transported into a fantasy world of taxidermy, masks, and the most intricate set spread over 5 floors and about 100 rooms. For the next three hours we followed performers around and tried to wrap our heads around the story (based on Macbeth). It was a wonderful evening out to a truly unique performance, and if you are in the NYC area, and there are tickets left, I would highly recommend.
Throughout the many rooms there were incredible stuffed birds, animals and bugs which added to the interior set design and helped with the overall feeling - and was very tredy! I have never been a huge fan of the stuffed animals, but the current trend has them incorporated into interiors in a classy and industrial manner which I approve of.
As you may have heard every audience member is given a mask at the beginning of the performance and has to wear it throughout. This adds to the mysteriously eerie sense one feels throughout the performance. The masks are inspired by Venetian ones and have this elegant anonymity about them. It was quite cool looking around throughout the evening and seeing people with no discernible features around every corner.
Setting a Stage
As you can see from the small selection of images below from Interior Design magazine's article on the production (see whole collection of images here), the set was incredible. Each area was thought through in it's entirety with no detail left to chance. Each room was it's own unique set and the props were your to discover. Several times we walked into rooms and there were audience members just looking through the props, reading notes left around on the whole taking in the whole production.
Interior Design - Photos by Eric Laignel