So, about three weeks after the fact, I am at last about to start writing about what I have been up to in this little jaunt of mine. As a way to kick it all off, I went to a small town across the Atlantic. You’ve probably heard of it.
Rather than this end up being a blog where I simply say what I did, “and then I did this, and then I did that”, ad nauseum, I’ll attempt to focus on what I found most memorable, and more to the point, what might interest you also.
What might interest you is this: Sleep No More. An interactive show on several floors that integrates the story and symbolism of Macbeth with some of the decor and aesthetics of parts of Vertigo, while bringing in an atmosphere of The Shining and a soundtrack that sounds suspiciously like something Jonny Greenwood might dream up while in the shower. Sold yet? Well I’m no good at this. I’ll quote Vice magazine, as I read the article and it intrigued me greatly:
…then people who have absolutely no business going to the theater, went to see it and freaked out about how amazing it was. One friend told me, “You wear masks, there is an orgy, and some dude kills himself.” Another friend said, “You see a murder, some people get naked, and a chick shits a baby out of her ass.” … I guarantee it’s something you need to see if you’ve ever wanted to know what it feels like to live inside a David Lynch film. [Article]
Colourful, no? The evening needs to be described in a very general way in order to understand it, but not in any detail as to ruin the experience. You enter the “McKittrick Hotel” (any Hitchcock fans about?) and find yourself in an incredibly luxurious lounge where bar-staff in immaculate whites will mix you anything you desire (preferably a classic cocktail) and you can tap your feet to the in house band that is playing gentle swing on stage. Once the lounge is sufficiently populated, you are then invited to enter the elevator. This is driven by your first intimate character – you have to follow some rules, very strictly. No talking, at any time. No pictures at all. Never take off your mask. Oh, did I mention that all guests where a mask? He then separates (or tries to) any couples or groups. Make no mistake, while you should definitely experience the evening with someone, the actual show must be taken by oneself, if for no other reason than you cover more ground that way and so have more to talk about at the end. And By God you will have lots to talk about.
Any more would spoil the surprise, but ultimately you need to know that you have lots of time to do whatever you want. You have absolute freedom to follow any actors as they perform vignettes in many, many different parts of the hotel. You can enter a room and poke about for as long as you want. Feel. Pick up. Read. Open all the drawers. Sniff the liquids and eat the sweets. Yes dear hearts, there is a sweet shop that you can raid to your heart’s content. I stole a lemon sherbert. If you are really lucky (as I was) you may be singled out by a particular actor to perform with them in a small way. I was dragged in to a bedroom – by myself! – and had a personal performance. No, get your minds out of the gutter. It was very intense, but again, I don’t want to go in to details as it was so great, I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone who has it happen to them.
If I’ve piqued your interest, and/or want to know a bit more, I’ll leave some links below. In case I didn’t make it clear, if you are in New York, you HAVE HAVE HAVE to go to this show. Just make sure you can find someone to go with, and don’t go with a mind to getting up in the morning. Late nights mean late mornings, and you’ll hopefully be here until 4am drinking Old Fashioneds and wondering whether you’ll get a chance to go again to see all the cool stuff you missed this time around.