Sleep No More

  • Theater
  • Drama
Critics' pick
3 Love It
Photograph: Yaniv Schulman
Sleep No More
McKittrick Hotel , Chelsea Until Saturday December 31 2016

To untimely rip and paraphrase a line from Macbeth: Our eyes are made the fools of the other senses, or else worth all the rest. A multitude of searing sights crowd the spectator's gaze at the bedazzling and uncanny theater installation Sleep No More. Your sense of space and depth---already compromised by the half mask that audience members must don---is further blurred as you wend through more than 90 discrete spaces, ranging from a cloistral chapel to a vast ballroom floor. Directors Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, of the U.K. troupe Punchdrunk, have orchestrated a true astonishment, turning six warehouse floors and approximately 100,000 square feet into a purgatorial maze that blends images from the Scottish play with ones derived from Hitchcock movies—all liberally doused in a distinctly Stanley Kubrick eau de dislocated menace.

An experiential, Choose Your Own Adventure project such as this depends on the pluck and instincts of the spectator. You can follow the mute dancers from one floor to the next, or wander aimlessly through empty spaces. I chose the latter, discovering a room lined with empty hospital beds; a leafless wood in which a nurse inside a thatched cottage nervously checks her pocket watch; an office full of apothecary vials and powders; and the ballroom, forested with pine trees screwed to rolling platforms (that would be Birnam Wood). A Shakespearean can walk about checking off visual allusions to the classic tragedy; the less lettered can just revel in the freaky haunted-house vibe.

The only caveat I would offer is to attend Sleep No More fully rested: You need your wits about you. All the same, stumbling groggily up and down staircases and around darkened hallways gives the night the sludgy, abstracted aura of a nightmare. But is it your bad dream, or have you slipped inside Macbeth's?

Follow David Cote on Twitter: @davidcote


Venue name: McKittrick Hotel
Address: 530 W 27th St
New York

Cross street: between Tenth and Eleventh Aves
Transport: Subway: C, E to 23rd St; 1 to 28th St
Price: $85–$170
Event phone: 866-811-4111
Event website:

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
3 people listening
lily r

I have done Sleep No More twice, and been to the McKittrick hotel numerous times. I have to say, I love the venue far more than the show itself. I might be the wrong audience for Sleep No More, as I am not a huge fan of the incredibly abstract... I prefer a storyline and plot. Sleep No More has guests follow actors around and explore a space (highly recommend wandering around alone, without your group... you'll see far more and interact far more... you'll also get the spooky vibe more so when you're alone), and multiple scenes are taking place at one time. There is no dialogue, mostly dance-type interactions between actors. That being said, it is a very unusual experience that is worth checking out. Once at the McKittrick, be sure to check out all it has to offer - the Heath, Manderley Bar, the Lodge (or Gallow Green in the summer). Their events (I've done NYE and Halloween) are also very interactive and theatrical and a lot of fun. 

Chris R

I have really mixed feelings about this place.  It's like how sometimes you hear a song with some friends and say "Oh I love this song! Turn it up!" and then it starts playing and you remember you kind of hate this song but are conflicted about saying "Oh, never mind" after being so pumped about it 2 seconds ago.  I say that because if a friend were to come to town I'd recommend SNM for sure.  But I'm not sure I'd go with them... It's partly great because it's SO different from anything else in NYC.  But in the end, I felt like I spent $100+ for my mind to be toyed with.  It's a really intense psychological experience (even if you DON'T get pulled into a room and kissed by one of the actresses).  I'd say, read up on what it is and decide if it's even interesting to you, but then prepare to have an experience you can never really prepare for, and perhaps to even feel manipulated.  It also helps not to care about the ticket price... [5 stars for uniqueness and quality of set/attention to detail. -1 star for price/hype and super creepy, manipulated feeling I was left with afterward]


I love this experience, but hate how popular it has become. When going, please be respectful to the actors and the other people around. Pushing and shoving is very unbecoming.  

George J

Don't want to give any spoilers, just following the man covered in blood!!!

Worth every penny

Jaime B

Sleep No More had me in tingles and looking around in wonder the whole time. I've never been to a production like it. I went with a friend, and we split up and had two totally different experiences. Another friend has been 6 times and says it's been different every time. The production is mysterious, sexy and exciting. The talent of the dancers and actors and getting to be so close to them is intoxicating, and the atmosphere of the darkly decorated building completely transports you. Made me wish I was wearing a 1920s dress while there. If it wasn't so expensive, I would have been back many times by now.

Pavlos G
Staff Writer

A very memorable experience that I would recommend to anyone. When I went to this show I didn't know what to expect. I didn't read much about it to not spoil it. Exploring the hotel, finding clues and watching the actors perform right in front of me was fantastic. Also I was pulled into the action at one point which made the whole experience even better.

Anmarie S

A very unique experience where you are immersed into and a part of the story all the way through... Definitely go!


Hands down the coolest thing I have ever been to! From the moment you "check-in" to the McKittrick Hotel, you are thrust into a different time. The 40's vibe you get from the speak easy and the singer that croons up on stage is amazing. Absinthe shots and all sorts of other drinks are available for purchase. My friend did not want to split up at first but since our cards that were given to us were different numbers we decided to meet up later. Obviously, meeting up later happened on accident. If you want to bump into a friend after going in separately there are some opportunities where you will get to do so but make sure you remember what they are wearing because otherwise you'll never find them with the creepy white masks that everyone wears. Do not take your mask off; they (quietly) yell at you! I wandered off in hopes to get a one on one and I did with the taxidermist. I won't go into any details because what is the fun in that! If you love the thrill of running through six floors and chasing people anonymously; this is the place for you! Wear comfortable shoes and do your best to attend the latest show you can. The ending at 2 am is unbelievable!