Monday, 10 December 2012

Punchdrunk in NYC

I know some of you have had the pleasure of going to a Punchdrunk production, so you'll understand my excitement when I found out they were coming to New York. This company specializes in unconventional theatre. Mainly, they take away the format of an audience in chairs and you are encouraged to step into the play. How does that work? They usually take over vast buildings and turn each corner into a set which you can explore. You're allowed to look in cupboards, check in drawers and sit at tables. Your role as viewer is distinguished by the use of a white mask. This play called 'Sleep No More' was loosely based on Macbeth, transported centuries later to a hotel (and it's surrounding areas) and told through a film noir narrative. We were greeted at the hotel lobby complete with a bar and sexily clad waitresses in 40s attire. On the stage next to the piano was a suited man drooling sexily into the mic letting us know that it was nearly time to finish our drinks and head to our rooms. Once inside the adventure begins. All I can say was that the sets were breathtaking! We were taken from dark forest, to churchyard, to graveyard as well as inside the exquisite hotel complete with ballroom.

Then you have two options, explore the rooms at your own pace ignoring people as they pass. Stay in your chosen room and wait to see who comes in. Or find a character that intrigues you and follow them on their journey. We were completely distracted following anyone that crossed our path. The temptation of finding out where they were headed to was too much to pass up. The most frustrating thing is thinking of all the places that you missed. And this is exactly how we felt when we were all ushered in for the last act of the play only to see new characters that we hadn't met on our travels. I just want to go back and give it another go. I wonder what I'll encounter this time.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I've heard of this! I would love to be able to attend a production someday. I think I agree with you though, it would be so hard to think about all the things you're missing as you go along. Maybe an excuse to go again?