Things to Do in New York City: Experience “Sleep No More” August 28 2017
Catching a show is a fun and popular way to spend some time while in New York City. Of course, there are Broadway, Off Broadway and even Off Off Broadway options and those who love to watch a good play, musical, comedy show or other kind of live entertainment event. Those can be amazing. Even a bad show can present a good storytelling option. However, these shows are just things you watch, Sleep No More, is an interactive theater encounter, called “promenade theater” where you don a mask and interact with actors and are immersed into a dynamic once-in-a-lifetime experience. This experience also has optional rooftop restaurant and bar options called Gallow Green that are not included with the purchase of a ticket to a performance, but worth considering.
What is Sleep No More?
Sleep No More is a mostly non-spoken film noir inspired adaptation of Macbeth with a little witch trials thrown in the mix, that takes place in the McKittrick Hotel (actually a restored warehouse that has been converted into a performance space in the Chelsea neighborhood area of New York City). The audience walks at their own pace through a series of appropriately designed rooms and environmental theater through a six-floor fully immersive experience. The audience can freely walk through the sets and touch items and find clues to the story. The McKittrick Hotel isn’t a typical hotel. It includes is six floors of indoor/outdoor sets that include typical hotel features like a lobby, but it also has a sanitarium, streets of the fictitious Scottish town Gallow Green, a speakeasy, grand bedrooms, courtyards, a forest, a crypt, a fantastic ballroom and more. In fact, the hotel has a 1930s hotel jazz bar called the Manderley where the audience can enjoy the live music and have a drink after the theatrical experience is done. While you explore at your own pace, following performers around is part of the fun so be prepared to move around.
When does Sleep No More run?
Tickets are sold for months in advance, with multiple time slots available each day from 5PM through midnight, depending on the day of the week, with a 4 PM start time on most Saturdays.
Do you have to get tickets in advance?
Yes, it is advisable because the tickets often sell out weeks in advance.
How do you get tickets?
While most NYC theater ticket sites have options for Sleep No More, there are two options that are better than most. Go directly to the Sleep No More website here, or Google “discount tickets Sleep No More” to see what kinds of deals are available.
How much do tickets cost?
The average cost is $75 per ticket. While there are discounts available, the cost is usually upwards of $100 as drinks are expensive, but they do make the experience a little more interesting.
Is there an option for last minute ticket options?
People interested in attending a sold out time slot or date are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How many people experience it with you?
The audience is admitted during staggered times, so there are never too many people in one place at once. You might experience something totally on your own, or there may be close to 100 people watching a specific scene.
How long does it take?
Guests may stay as long as they want as long as it is still open, however, most people spend about three hours savoring this interactive experience.
What to expect?
- You will be wearing a mask—identical to ever other member of the audience
- About the mask, it can fit over glasses, but if you have the option to wear contact lenses for this experience, do it!
- Bags and coats are required to be checked in. The cost of this is $4 per person.
- It is hard to recognize people, so plan on either enjoying the experience alone or holding hands the entire time
- Like any theater experience, talking is not appreciated
- While not a “haunted house,” there are elements that may be disturbing to some. There is blood, murder, nudity, strobe lights, creepy music and other elements that are meant to make people uncomfortable, yet intrigued.
- While there is no official dress code, it is fun to get dressed up, but comfortable shoes are advised as you will be walking, sometimes running around a lot.
- All sales are final. Tickets may not be exchanged for another date or time. However, it has been reported that if you are running a bit late and they are not overbooked, they will do their best to accommodate you.
Is Sleep No More suitable for kids?
Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but the many themes of this experience are adult in nature and not suitable for young children. There is nudity, violence and complicated concepts in Sleep No More.
What is the history of the show?
Sleep No More was created by British Theatre company Punchdrunk in 2003. In 2009, they joined forces with Emersive in 2011 and started New York productions. That same year, it won the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience. It also earned special Obie Awards for design and choreography.
[Featured Image by Jim James "Sleep No More."]