Sleep No More [NYC]

The most brilliant experience I have ever had with a play.

From the moment you stand on the street outside the seemingly abandoned hotel, until you leave for the night, you’re guided by actors whose elocution is sublime – like being in a lavish jazz-playing speakeasy. Contagious and addictive.

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Ultimately, the darkness made me want to stay with my friends, but after 10 minutes I couldn’t help but feel the urge to drift off on my own – we were all made to wear the same theatrical white masks; I found a certain confidence in that anonymity.

We weren’t allowed words, nor were the actors; expression only through dance, movement, shouts, wails.

Losing your breath chasing actors through floors of an eery hotel – the chase, the prospect of losing sight of the actor(s), of your friends, only increasing the suspense.

Getting suddenly dragged from your group and brought into a locked cupboard by a random actor.

Drifting through hundreds of rooms with their dark decor, sometimes stumbling into a forest, sometimes into a graveyard. Always into something foreboding.

Standing by as a naked actress takes a bath, blood dripping from her hands, terror on her face.

Watching a ballroom of people dancing, giving you coy (and openly flirty) glances, making you feel as if you’re a part of their inebriated party; women with men with men with women.

Random unexplained scenes of people kissing in studies, people fighting in living rooms.

Walking into blasting electronic music and strobe lights on a gory scene of sexually charged, partially nude women, an entirely nude man wearing a bull’s head and a baby delivered from an alter of blood red jelly – everyone caressing and pressing. These people having no qualms about touching you, moving you, rushing into you.

It was all very mad.

Brunch

After the play, we ended up in a bar beneath the hotel. It was charged with all of that electricity from the “play”, and from the ridiculously exciting band that was playing (afros and Jesus hair meets indie electric soul, whatever that is). Some of the actors came down and it all culminated in this “Dirty Dancing” feel. Not to mention you could go all the way back to the top of the hotel and be surrounded by a gorgeous rooftop patio with trellises and vines and hundreds of people having fabulous food and amazing drinks.

The people in New York are so beautiful.

The play: Macbeth
The place: The McKittrick Hotel
The verdict: Must be experienced again. And again.

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