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Macbeth is undoubtedly one of Shakespeare’s most haunting works, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this spooked by a trip to the theater. Situated in and around 93 creepily noirish rooms, Sleep No More is a modern interpretation of the Scottish play produced by Emursive and performed by Britain’s Punchdrunk group. Their “immersive theatrical production,” which starts this Monday (purchase tickets at sleepnomorenyc.com), lets audience members wander aimlessly around a trio of six-story warehouse buildings totalling over 100,000 square feet in Chelsea. You’ll start the night by ascending this staircase and then get thoroughly lost in a darkly lit labyrinth, encountering storytelling actors and bizarre settings everywhere you turn.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Producer Randy Weiner gave me a personal tour of a dozen-odd rooms, noting that “the more curious you are the more you will be rewarded.” Some of the gorgeously wrapped boxes seen here contain a “gift,” which audience members can open if they’re feeling brave enough.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

Lady Macbeth’s bedroom overlooks a newly constructed garden with brick walls and pathways built from scratch by set designers and volunteers.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

I was especially intrigued by this installation in one of the dining rooms. The forks were glued into the shape of crucifixes and stuck into mounds of salt by one of the show’s legion of interns. The crosses are meant to counter the spells of the Weird Sisters, whose witchy presence seems to be everywhere in this place.

Photo: Thom Kaine

A makeshift cobblestone street leads to an office filled with notes, old photos, and clippings.

Photo: Thom Kaine

A detail of the office’s wall. All of the clippings, containing quotes from literary sources, have been stained with tea so they appear aged.

Photo: Thom Kaine

The open cabinets in this sewing room contain thimbles made of salt. I need not mention again that witches can’t stand salt. The lighting in this photo is not what you’ll see in the show—it’ll get much spookier.

Photo: Wendy Goodman

This prop really creeped me out. Each of the drawers is stuffed with locks of real human hair.

Photo: Thom Kaine

This cobblestone street gives a sense of the vastness of the space. During each night’s show, there will be only a select number of audience members allowed in at a time—each given his or her own mask to wear. Better get your tickets fast; Sleep No More has already built a cult following in London and, at this point, is scheduled to last just six weeks here.

Photo: Thom Kaine

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York

For me, the high point of the show is this, which manages simultaneously to be a painting, a force field, and an electromagnetic visual discharge. This is an artist sloughing off old consciousness, making something he doesn’t even know is art, giving up nearly all known languages of painting, and maybe violating the laws of nature by making something that seemingly puts off more energy than went into making it.

Photo: © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
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