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"Sleep No More"
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Whoa.

I don't know where to begin. I don't know *how* to begin. That was... whoa.

None of the descriptions I have seen have done this show justice. Which is probably a combination of inevitabilty and spoiler avoidance. This show is far better experienced than described. And it is eminently worth experiencing. With some caveats.

Firstly, don't go if you demand your entertainment be linear, or susceptible to easy interpretation. Don't expect Shakespeare's "Macbeth"; this tale has roots there, but is far more weird, allusive, and symbolic. In fact, I would hesitate to even call this Theater, though it is most certainly Art.

Don't go if you're disabled. The show is a feast for all the senses except taste (maybe even that, if you buy a drink at the bar. To be blind or deaf would be to miss a huge amount of the show. Mobility impairments would also be a problem. The show runs three hours, and you will spend the vast majority of that time standing, walking, climbing stairs, and occasionally running. (There is an elevator, but this show is really not about accessibility, in any sense.)

If these vague warnings intrigue, rather than scare you away, then by all means, go. It's running through January 3, six nights a week, so there are plenty of opportunities. (No matinees; this is a night-time show.) Tickets are pretty affordable, at $25.

I think I'll stop here. I recommend not researching further; much of the value here is the joy of discovery. I will probably go again, as I know I didn't discover nearly everything my first time through.

ETA (from comments): I would guess that the space was about 70 degrees; slightly chillier than my 'at rest' comfort zone, but perfectly ok given the amount of activity I was doing. Just after handing my coat to the coat check ($1), I was chilly for a bit, as people were still coming in and bringing outside air with them, but that was no more than a few minutes.

Dress... to be comfortable, with the knowledge that you'll be on your feet for most of three hours, and moving around a lot. Some of the audience were wearing fancy-night-out clothes, but most weren't. I wouldn't wear anything with frills that might get caught on random objects.

ETA: If you go with other people, I recommend not attempting to stay with them during the show. It'll slow you down, and you're not supposed to talk, anyways. Splitting up also gives better coverage of an experience too big for one person to see all of in one show! You can share stories after :)
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I'm almost certainly not going, so I'll try to pry the details out of you when I see you next.

...and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Sorry.

Awesome. I've wanted to see this since I saw the publicity and thought, "...Dramatis Personae!!" Thanks for the accessibility update; is the performance space sheltered/heated? How does one most appropriately dress to be comfortable?

I would guess that the space was about 70 degrees; slightly chillier than my 'at rest' comfort zone, but perfectly ok given the amount of activity I was doing. Just after handing my coat to the coat check ($1), I was chilly for a bit, as people were still coming in and bringing outside air with them, but that was no more than a few minutes.

Dress... to be comfortable, with the knowledge that you'll be on your feet for most of three hours, and moving around a lot. Some of the audience were wearing fancy-night-out clothes, but most weren't. I wouldn't wear anything with frills that might get caught on random objects.

Since I'm not going to go, Alexx described his experience to me in person, and Dramatis Personae was exactly what I thought of. He's going to go back and read that part of the novel at some point, now.

It's also like Myst.

Actually, Alex is spacing on the reference, and google is no help with such a common phrase. Which novel are you talking about?

Diamond Age, by Stephenson. The performance-experience troupe on the ship.

Since Punchdrunk is from England, as Dramatis Personae is in the novel, I wonder if perhaps Stephenson experienced their work himself and was thus inspired to write that.

Ah yes, that did come up in conversation.

The inspiration might be in the other direction, given the chronology. (Diamond Age came out in 1995; Punchdrunk was founded in 2000.)

I am *so* glad you liked it. And that my recommendation wasn't unwarranted :)

Though I would count your description as one of the ones that totally failed to do it justice :)

Also, I'm interested to hear your thoughts (either on LJ or in person) about your takeaways as a designer of immersive somewhat-nonlinear entertainment.

Many, and still percolating. Everyone in the office who went is still buzzing about it.

One of my thoughts was, "holy crap smell does a lot to enhance immersion."

Yeah. Marketing it as a gaming peripheral is still tough, but I'm a lot more open to the idea than I was 24 hours ago.

SNM - Access

(Anonymous)
I wanted to just make note that they do make special provisions for disabled or handicap patrons who want to expernce Sleep No More.

If someone has a disability and wants to attend they should contact the box office first to let management know.

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