Oh, and there's this photo I saw in The New York Times of a beautiful woman wearing a headdress:
I've done this before at Sleep No More and Then She Fell, voluntarily wandering around in a state of confusion, trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It's the best.
At Sleep No More, an entire four-story building on the West Side has been taken over by the show. Somebody told me that the old Twilo nightclub used to be there, but now it's called the McKittrick Hotel, and it's the site of a nightlong mystery theater where performers rush around dancing and stripping off their clothes and washing off blood in the bath. I've heard the show is partially based on that Scottish play by Shakespeare and partially based on romantic mystery films of the 1930s, which sounds fine, but I've been to Sleep No More four times now and I still don't know what the hell is going on.
The point of the show, as far as I'm concerned, is to:
- explore dark rooms enveloped in a moody soundscape and a peculiar smell of incense
- happen accidentally upon a large dinner party in a ballroom with a cast of handsome, despairing characters who all seem to hate and mistrust one another
- open drawers in ancient wooden desks that contain bits of hair and hospital reports written in spidery script
- try not to bump into any of the strangers that are wandering around with me (did I mention that all audience members must wear Commedia dell'Arte masks?)
- eat penny candy out of giant apothecary jars, and
- follow a woman I believe to be Lady Macbeth up three flights of stairs to her bedroom
John Singer Sargent's 1889 painting of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth
I love a good story. And after years of seeing plays, watching movies and reading books, if a talented theater company wants to offer me an intriguing assortment of people, places and things to become absorbed in, I'm happy to tell myself a story of my own devising, even if it is non-linear and makes no sense to anybody but me.