Me thought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! Macbeth doth Murder sleep”
Even the entryway is black. You check your coat, your bag, your ties to the real world as your eyes mostly adjust to the lack of light. When you finally reach the Manderly your senses are heightened. You’ve been transported to another world; a world of glamour, mystery, and desire. A place you certainly don’t belong, but find yourself in regardless. You are enthralled already and your night hasn’t even begun.
When I first started writing for LeakyNews Melissa said “you have to write a Sleep No More review.” Well, it has been four months now so here it is. My review of a show that is so much more than that. Sleep No More is an experience. It’s theatre like you’ve never seen it. Moreover it’s theatre like you’ve never felt it. I have been hesitant to write a review not because I don’t have a lot to say about the show, but because Sleep No More is best experienced raw. The audience is meant to discover their own path and a review of my experiences there (I’ve been seven times now) would be a detriment to a first time visitor. So instead I aim to convince you to indulge in a night at Sleep No More in the vaguest way possible.
Sleep No More takes place in the McKittrick Hotel, which is a warehouse in Chelsea that has been converted into a hotel from the 1930s. Over the course of three hours audience members clad in white masks wander the many rooms of the McKittrick to their heart’s desire. The only rules of your visit are no talking and keep your mask on, other than that the journey is up to you. In order to truly lose yourself in the universe that has been created for you it’s best to travel on your own. Exploring the McKittrick with a friend will only pull you out of the experience. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes. You will feel the need to run up and down stairs.
Still confused and have no idea what I’m talking about? Good. That’s the point.
Here are the basics. Sleep No More is an immersive interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. If you know the story of Macbeth you may pick up on certain characters or plot points from the play. If you don’t know Macbeth, it doesn’t matter. The plot is only as important as you make it. If you want plot to be part of your journey it will be. Sleep No More is performed in silence, for the most part, and is expressed through movement and atmosphere. The choreography is mind-blowing and the actors hypnotic. Sleep No More is visceral in a way that nothing else I’ve ever seen is. Your mind is free when you are in the bounds of the McKittrick and the outside world feels a lifetime away. Sleep No More is aptly named; it is a waking dream.
If you are a fan of anything we cover on this site from The Hunger Games to Glee to The Newsroom to Dr. Who, you will enjoy this show. Everyone in the New York area should see it and anyone who is visiting New York should see it too. Sleep No More would be the perfect accompaniment to a trip to NYC for JK Rowling’s October 16th reading. Still not convinced? Perhaps you will listen to some of your favorite celebs like Neil Patrick Harris, Evan Rachael Wood, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Elijah Wood who are all known visitors of the McKittrick.
Sleep No More runs Monday through Saturday at the McKittrick Hotel, 530 West 27th St. New York, NY. Tickets and more information can be found at www.sleepnomorenyc.com