Yes, the only way to describe a Sleep No More experience is to categorize it as a movie of sorts. Because in all actuality, it’s not just a theatrical experience, but a cinematic one as well. My third trip to the McKittrick hotel, in the sleepy part of Chelsea, was one that was supposed to be the end for me, but as those haunted halls do, it is drawing me in more than ever. Thursday January 3rd represented the start to both a new year with Sleep No More, and a new year for myself as a person. I went having had the Bald Witch tell me the last time that the third time was going to be the charm. And to be completely honest, I had planned on it being the last until I turned 21. Watch out ahead for some spoilers.
My journey started out pretty normal, brief chats with Maximilian and Violet before entering. I was let off on the 5th floor, where I quickly found Nurse Shaw in her hut. I watched her turn down the hut, and settle in for a cup of tea. Only to be interrupted by the orderly, they danced together in the maze of trees, enchanting one another until they parted ways. I followed the nurse back to her hut, where she comforted me with tea and stories of those who don’t realize what they have until you have lost it. It was quite the inspiring story to begin my year by being humble, just like the boy who went to the moon and stars and sun only to find that he wished he stayed down at Earth.
I left her to find my way down to the candy shop, because I was craving licorice at that very moment. Hecate distracted me in the rep bar. So I decided to follow her for a while, for I am madly in love with Elizabeth Romanski as a performer. I watched her chilling rendition of Is That All There Is. You can never listen to Tony Bennett’s cover the same way after watching that, I’m convinced of it. After an extended period of time, she pulled me into her layer to grant upon me a task. A task to bring a letter to the hotels Porter, in order to get something, a task done with haste. I raced down to bring him the note, only to find that he was quite busy with the dying Lady MacDuff. I patiently waited as he talked on the phone to someone, then he realized what I had for him. He read the note, folded up a key to go inside it, and sent me back towards Hecate. At this point I am legitimately a part of the show, I even had my own little merry band of followers behind me watching my journey.
I brought Hecate her key and she immediately pulled me back into her lair. After some more tears she told me an enchanting, yet heartbreaking story about a boy in the dark woods who found an old lady who lost her ring. She then bade me to find her ring, for only I knew where it was. Truth be told, I had NO clue where it was. I spent all of my subsequent time at the McKittrick looking for Hecate’s ring. I watched minimal scenes, and instead tore through the hotel trying to find the ring. I probably looked like a crazy person but it is okay because there was a plus side to this. I spent time examining the minute details of the rooms, something I’ve never really done before. Little nuances in places, lighting, textural details, even details in the stairwells that I had never noticed before. It was rather spectacular to say the least.
The trip ended back in Manderley where I watched the lovely band, Carte Blanche, play the night away. I highly suggest you look into them on the YouTube or the iTunes at once; they fit perfectly right into my Sleep No More Playlist. I’m sure I will be returning this summer, if it extends through then. Which it totally will because they are holding open calls for more cast members and they are looking into opening the indoor Gallow Green, as well as some other expansions into permanence. But til the day that I return arrives, I guess I shall dream upon those dark forests, brainstorming of places to find that wretched lost ring of hers.