The British company Punchdrunk, which specializes in this style of "immersive theater," has outfitted the place with all kinds of weird paraphernalia. Actors appear seemingly out of nowhere to perform scenes and then disappear again. The show has the show-offy split personality of a James Franco: it's part theater, part art installation, part spook house.
Even the usually grouchy New York Post columnist Michael Riedel is smitten (click here to read his love letter to the show). So, I’ve been trying to figure out why Sleep No More didn’t work for me. Although I’m not the only naysayer; click here to read about the New York Times critic Charles Isherwood’s experience with the show.
Instead, we resignedly made our away through as many dimly-lit rooms (there are said to be 100) as we could, including the infirmary, the graveyard, a forest in which effigies of headless babies hung from trees, and some offices, bedrooms and sitting rooms. I vetoed the morgue.
I got that. But I got tired of it too. Although I might have had a better time if I’d gotten a guided tour like the one that Kurt Andersen got for his public radio show Studio 360 and which you can listen to by clicking here.
The play followed me home though. For several nights afterward, my dreams were filled with images from it. So I guess you’d have to say it was effective in that way at least. But the biggest advantage of having seen Sleep No More, which has twice extended its run and is now scheduled to play through Labor Day, may be, as Anika says, that you can say that you saw it.