Welcome to Their World
By Adam Rathe
Sleep No More isn’t quite theater, but it’s certainly a spectacle. Situated in a series of overhauled warehouses on Manhattan’s far west side, the overwhelming experience—put on by British theater company Punchdrunk and based on Macbeth—sprawls across a set known as the McKittrick Hotel, which encompasses shops, forests, a dining room, a ballroom, secret passageways, and hundreds of other nooks and crannies. Participants follow actors around the cavernous space, viewing everything from formal dances to in-the-buff shower shows—all the time wearing masks and losing themselves to the space.
The set, by Beatrice Minns and Livi Vaughan, Punchdrunk’s longtime, London-based design associates, is nothing if not impressive. Each room is packed with furniture and props culled from antique fairs, swap meets, junk stores, and trash bins that transform the space into a series of thrilling, creepy environments that make the streets of New York seem worlds away.