I have lived in New York for over ten years, and can confidently state that I have seen much, especially in the area of entertainment. The number of creative people worldwide is growing and generating new ideas daily. The city that never sleeps, however, always attracts new interesting passions. Therefore, the desire to create and consume new projects never ends.
This past year, over the winter holidays, my sister and I decided to try a relatively new, but already well-known show called Sleep No More. A British theatre company, Punchdrunk, promised us an interesting production that would be unforgettable and unpredictable. I admit the show really had a psychological effect on me, even though I did sleep that night, but not for long.
Sleep No More, the first joint project between Emursive and Punchdrunk’s directors, Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, takes place at the fictional McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, Manhattan. Every evening, Sleep No More presents two performances, which is why you see long lines at night in front of the McKittrick Hotel. What they don’t know yet is that they will soon be leaving their every day worries behind, and will experience real adventure, comparable to a childhood fantasy.
The performance begins at the very entrance, when audience members leave absolutely all of their belongings in a locker room in exchange for a playing card. If you bring someone with you, you will both get different cards. Perhaps the most important and the only rule of Sleep No More is to have an individual experience, which you take home with you after the show. To fully enjoy the ride, you must embrace it alone. This will make sense to you once the play has finished. Simply have faith in the interactive theatre process and overlook the unusual conditions at the beginning!
The action begins in the living room: impressive décor, interesting beverage names, gorgeous people, intoxicating tastes, seductive glances by the actors and staff, excited voices. Absolutely everything, from the first moment brings you immediately into the story, as you forget all of your day-to-day worries and get ready to dive into another world, behind the red curtain.
Human imagination is unlimited, and if properly nurtured, inspiration can be aroused in every human being. This is the point of the show and the main secret. On psychological level, by reading and feeling the audience, producers created an environment where every guest becomes a player, wearing a mask that makes you become a part of the show.
And not to spoil the excitement for those who have not yet experienced such a play, I suggest that you trust your instincts, and than you will discover for yourself what really is behind the red curtain. I would suggest for you to purchase the show’s program at the end of the show, not at the beginning! After all, absolutely everything is unexpected: the characters, the scenes, and the entire experience.
Every detail is a surprise, building the desire to explore deeply, to understand fully. There will be plenty of time to explore several one-of-a-kind, meticulously assembled items, and experience the unique emotional surprises, excitement, fear, passion, curiosity, and finally, incredible fun!
The show concept will make you get in touch with all your emotions: excitement after the show, the unbelievable desire to share this experience with others, and also the reluctance to return back to your real life. That’s why no one asks you to leave! Instead, once again, you find yourself back in the living room, behind the red curtain. There’s a cozy bar scene, back in time, in the 1920s, with jazz music seductively playing in the background, champagne toasts and caviar dreams, as the play continues…
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