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Punchdrunk Theater Group Launches New York Production

By Test Reporter | March 7, 2011 6:36pm
Punchdrunk theater troupe's new New York venue at 530 W. 27th Street
Punchdrunk theater troupe's new New York venue at 530 W. 27th Street
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DNA/Leila Molana-Allen

By Leila Molana-Allen

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

CHELSEA — The Punchdrunk theater troupe's "immersive" experience "Sleep No More" begins its limited six-week run Monday night.

The show is the group's first at their new New York home at 530 W. 27th Street. The building, which is the former site of the former McKittrick Hotel, is still covered in scaffolding, though the group has renovation plans.

Punchdrunk is a British theater troupe that stages alternative productions of classic British works in a variety of unusual locations. Before moving to New York in December 2010, the group attracted critical acclaim in the U.K. with its creation of "sensory theatrical worlds" in venues including subway stations and a power plant.

According to the group's mission statement, their performances aim to reject and overcome the "passive obedience usually expected of audiences."

"Sleep No More," a film-noir style adaptation of Shakespeare's Scottish tragedy "Macbeth," is set in a Hitchcock-eqsue hotel, which is based on the old McKittrick Hotel. Actors will perform scenes in different areas of the hotel, with audience members free to roam through the locations as  they wish.

While the group has released few details of what the show will entail, all the performers have a dance background and previous productions have aimed to provide audiences with an all-around sensory experience, mixing a variety of performance techniques.

Tickets, which are already sold out for almost all the performances, are $75, and guests are invited to stay for as long as they like; once the performance is over, the hotel's bar will stay open late into the night. Entry times are staggered throughout the evening to prevent overcrowding.

"Ticket sales have been going extraordinary well, and there's been a lot of buzz about it, so we're really excited to launch today. People who've seen what's going on have been blown away by the scale of the project," said a publicity representative for the production.