Hooray for Everything!
5 weeks ago
Some people call Sleep No More "immersive theatre" but that doesn't explain the essence of the thing. The current production in New York is performed in a multi-story hotel. The play is going on in multiple rooms according to a very complicated schedule and the audience is free to move from room to room. Many things are happening simultaneously so you have to come back multiple times to see everything.
The audience wears white masks and must be silent. The performers act as if white masks aren't there. (Usually.) Also, despite being billed as a play, the story is mostly told through physical actions and dance. There are fight scenes, ballroom scenes, seductions, murders, suicides, and some really far out stuff that you have to see for yourself.
The style is film noir, but with a surreal, macabre, sometimes gory, always disturbing atmosphere. Unsettling music is piped in everywhere. You can spend a lot of time just examining the elaborate sets, which also reveal clues about the story.
Occasionally performers will grab members of the audience and take them off into difficult to access locations. This chosen person or persons might see a scene that few ever see -- indeed where the performers outnumber the spectators.
A friend of mine compares it to entering "The Black Lodge" from Twin Peaks.