Have you ever gone to see a play, perhaps a movie, or even visited an art museum, and walked out thinking, “What the hell was that?”
I had that feeling last Tuesday on the west side of New York City after experiencing the “immersive theatre experience” called Sleep No More, which has been selling out every night, non-stop, for eight years. It’s loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, with elements of some Hitchcock films like Rebecca and Vertigo. The whole performance is set in 1929, and it’s not a play in the strictest sense—there’s no dialogue, no seating, not even a stage.
Sleep No More takes place on six floors of a giant warehouse, and the actors are more accurately described as dancers. There’s very, very little information given to the patrons, who are simply handed a mask and told that “fortune favors the bold” before they’re dumped out into the warehouse, which is immaculately prepared. Within the structure, you’ll find a jazz club, a hotel, two apartments, a sanitarium, a forest, a graveyard, a city street with multiple shops, a ballroom, and much, much more, all of which are presented in a perfect, Hitchcock-style milieu.