Tips and Tools to Having the Best Time Ever at Sleep No More!
- Wear good running shoes. No, seriously. You. Will. Need. Them.
- Also, I know that cocktail dress looks supercute, but wear it when you go see Book of Mormon. With this show, you will be running around chasing people up stairs (if you're lucky), and comfort is key. Also, while some sections are well-air-conditioned, others ... aren't.
- If you have glasses and contact lenses both, go with the lenses - you'll be wearing a mask and it's really not comfortable over glasses.
- Also, if you have a watch with a glowlight ... it might be helpfulish.
- Dietary Whatsits
- Hydrate well, but not too well - having to take a bathroom break could mean missing out on something fun!
- Eat something protein-y to give you good energy to go chasing people upstairs.
- Medical Whatsits
- If you are prone to asthma attacks, you should probably pack an inhaler. Several rooms and areas are fairly dust-heavy.
- Financial Planning
- Bring three dollars cash if you intend to check a bag/coat (required - it'll just get in the way during the show) or coat.
- Bring more money if you'd like some liquor.
- School Yourself
- Read Macbeth, or at the very least a very good plot summary.
- It also helps if you're up on your Hitchcock references, particularly Rebecca.
Buying a ticket
- There are several entrance times a night, as they stagger when people can enter. The earlier the better.
- The show usually posts blocks of tickets for sale about a month in advance, and sells out quickly. It might extend again, it might not. To order tickets, click on the link at the top of this post.
- I would also just like to point out that this show has had little to no advertising, and is relying entirely on word of mouth and repeat attenders. And it is STILL selling out. If that isn't badass, I think we might need to redefine the word.
- Gallow Green: this is a newly-opened rooftop bar. It's still officially "in previews," so details on it are changing, but right now you can go before or after the performance (except on late nights). It's a lovely atmosphere, and you still get to enter the space the "classic" way.
- Note on this: they are currently working on creating a special entrance from Gallow Green to the McKittrick, but it's not up yet.
- The address is 530 West 27th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.
- If you're trying to take a cab (which I did last night), um ... it's a wee bit difficult as there is no real thru-street at 27th between 10th and 9th Avenues. I got out at 9th and 26th and walked the rest.
- I vote taking the C or E train to either 23rd Street or 34th Street and then walking it (but that's okay, because you wore good running shoes, right?).
- Let's say you have a 7:00 ticket time (the earliest you can get in) - I'd recommend getting in line 6:30 or earlier. Again, you want to maximize your time in the space.
- Last night we had a 7:15 ticket time, and because we (well, they) lined up early enough, we were able to enter the experience right on time and thus got nearly three hours, and plenty of exploration time. When I had a 7:30 ticket time, I got in the front door on time, but my actual entrance to the experience was closer to 7:45.
Okay, but what the hell is Sleep No More?
- The basics: This is an immersive experience and very choose-your-own-adventure-y. It's a loose adaptation of Macbeth, with very strong aesthetic influences from Hitchcock (the backing score is lifted from Hermann film scores). As the performance is mostly dance-based (but it's site-specific, athletic violent dancing - no tutus here), it's more an emotional adaptation than a literal re-enactment of the play.
- Also, it's AMAZING and Not To Be Missed.
- It's a warehouse (or three warehouses; I hear different reports) that has been transformed into the McKittrick Hotel. There are five and a half floors to explore at your own pace and choice.
- These floors include a hospital, a hotel lobby, a nightclub, a forest containing a witch's hut, Duncan's quarters, Macbeth's bedroom, Macduff's suite, a cemetery, a forest, a ballroom, a speakeasy, an interrogation room, numerous little chapels/altars, and a street full of shops. And many more hidden room and nooks.
- The performers are the ones not wearing masks (did I mention you'll be wearing a mask the whole night?). Some of them are characters from Macbeth, some are characters from Rebecca, and some appear to be more blue-collary - shopkeepers or nurses, bartenders or bellhops.
- If you find a performer(s) it is probably a grand idea to follow them, as they will lead you to awesome scenes and interactions.
- A full cycle lasts one hour and ends at the banquet scene - this is a way to help you gauge how much time you have left. There are three full cycles for each performance. This is also why you want to get there as early as possible, to see as many cycles as you can, and thus catch scenes that were happening simultaneously to the scenes you watched in the last cycle, or to follow a character you didn't even know existed an hour ago.
Things You Should Keep In Mind
- You will get lost. You will be disoriented. That's okay. Each stairwell has the floors clearly marked, and Black Masks can help you if you have a panic attack or anything.
- If you go with friends, you might be separated. That's probably a good thing, because at the end of the night you can compare experiences and brag about the stuff you saw that no one else did.
- There is no way you can see everything. That's okay too. There are 100 rooms and many many scenes happening simultaneously.
- As you wander, feel free to investigate everything. Behind that curtain might be another room. In that desk might be a letter from Lady Macbeth to Duncan. That trunk might be filled with dirt. There is stuff EVERYWHERE.
- If you're following a character out of a room, particularly Macbeth or Malcolm/Detective, they run very very fast up and down multiple flights of stairs. It's worth it, but it's hard, especially if there's a crowd (aren't you glad you wore good running shoes?). If you do lose track of them, I bet you can find someone else on this floor you ended up on.
- If a character beckons to you (or offers you a drink) remember your improv training and say yes (except not literally, as there is no speaking within the space). The more you are open to things, the richer your experience will be. Also it's real liquor.
- If you need to use the restroom, there is a hallway of restrooms on the 5th floor. There are also restrooms in the Manderley Bar (where you initially enter before the show).
- I know, you saw the banquet scene already. But trust me, stay to see the last banquet scene at 10:00 (or at 2:00, if you're doing the late show). It's different.
Okay, give me SOME hints. Are there rooms I should look out for? Anything else I should know?
- If you find a large bedroom with windowed walls and padded walls and a bathtub on a raised platform in the center, some really cool things happen in this room.
- A surprisingly large number of kickass things happen on the Hotel Lobby floor - however if you're looking for a Macbethian experience, they're mostly on different floors.
- Many cool events happen in the ballroom/banquet hall/forest. But if you're following a character, they will probably lead you there, so it's not as necessary to hunt that down on your own.
- The hospital floor looks pretty empty of people. But the more you hunt, the luckier you might be.
- You never know whom you'll run into on the street shop floor or in the pool hall/speakeasy. Except that the answer is just about everyone, at some point in time.
- The witches aren't always who you think they are.
- It's hard for first-timers to get the flow of how to follow someone, but if you're up close (without being too up close) as a character wanders, you might be treated to an individual one-on-one with one of the characters. You might get taken to a locked room no one else can access, get a souvenir or be sent on a mission.
This is all I can think of at this time, but I'm sure there are additional helpful things to know, so I'm opening the floor. Have more tips? Please comment below and I will add it to the post retroactively.
Also, for them what want spoilers galore, I will include in the comments section here spoilers galore on my third time attending Sleep No More, including a catalogue of what's on each floor. Also for more spoilers, see my earlier post and its comment section.