Be still my beating heart! This one looks like it might be official.
As I’ve been building an archive of the early years of this blog (god it’s strange to say that), I’ve been reading old posts and noticed recently that fuckyeahsleepnomore has been deactivated.
You were the original Sleep No More tumblr. You were the only reason I even learned what Tumblr was, back in the day. And I never, ever did find out who you were. So, thanks to you, whoever you are, for starting this madness, and for keeping up the admirable anonymity. I often wish I had done the same.
The Class of Late 2013:
Emily Oldak, Megh Dixon, Mallory Gracenin (finally), Kat Freeman (finally), Troy Ogilvie, Christopher Hernandez, Tim Haber, Zach Martens, Edward Stanley
Categories you should go vote in:
Best Leading Actor in A New Production of a Play West End (Paul Zivkovich)
Best Leading Actress in A New Production of a Play West End (Sophie Bortolussi)
Halloween at the McKittrick, showing a Temple Pictures production. Don’t get your expectations out of check for what that’s going to mean.
Alternate Title: “The McKittrick Hotel Before-Hours Presents: A Charming Distraction called Sleep No More by maybe-you’ve-heard-of-Punchdrunk.”
The scene: Ballroom, finale. About fifty guests in white masks are gathered at the edges of the room, many are seated on the floor. The taxidermist, barman, and cunning man stand with escorted guests close to the banquet table, completely in isolation, as there is no crowd to move back away from the forthcoming hanging.
It is the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen. I am relieved, afterwards, to have confirmed that many inside the house are scratching their heads at what a strange, dead night it has been in the hotel and what a disjointed, odd performance it was. Clearly, the heart of the building now beats up on the 6th Floor in The Heath, where the Preservation Hall band is performing. Hardly anyone can be bothered to care about the show they seem to only accidentally be seeing.
Strong performances I noted were newcomer Ed Stanley, who I have also seen as Duncan, this time as Man in Bar Oliver; also by an increasingly strong and confident Sexy Witch Troy Ogilvie, whom I really loved as a partner to resident StS hero Gabe Forestieri in last summer’s Leviathan; and by Austin Goodwin as the Porter, who is too hard on himself (but whose advice I will take regarding this performance nevertheless), who offers a very dark, disturbed and understated take on the role, with some elements from his predecessors and some all his own. Haylee Nichele is back after a break and breaks my heart as Lady Macduff as she has since the beginning. Hope Davis continues to demonstrate that mastery of the Punchdrunk kinetic language has incredible power, and steals the show everywhere she goes.
Those of you who follow the StS Twitter account know that I mentioned seeing the worst 1:1 of any of the 146 I’ve seen. There were some extenuating circumstances and complications that made the timings off, and led to some other issues; but it was also just poorly performed, hesitant and potentially unrehearsed. I found myself wishing for a recurrence of that brief opportunity I had in December ‘11 to tell Maxine Doyle what I think of things; there are problems. But I suspect this isn’t unknown and there’s neither will nor ability nor urgent need to address it.
I hear rumblings there’s an exciting Halloween plan afoot and I will hopefully get to that. I don’t plan to see the show again outside of a single occasion, to follow through on a suggestion and recommendation I’ve been given. It is too skeletal an image of its former self to merit the effort and expense.
Hello readers: I got the following request in my inbox last night and am reposting it here. I am hopeful someone out there has photos of the item in question in use at Calloway’s Salon. If you have any, please email them to the StS Gmail address and I will pass them along. Thanks!
Back in April, one of the Calloway salons was animal themed, and one of those skits featured a hippopotamus puppet, which I made. I was unable to be there (and am also a failure at documenting my work in general….) but I would really like to have a photo or two of the puppet in action for [my] portfolio.
Last night I was having a discussion with franceskoncan about the haphazard history of Cast Appreciation threads here on StS. Why do I make them, what provokes it? By and large, they’ve come on the heels of seeing someone do something extraordinary at a performance. Other times, they’ve been due to a sense that someone could use a boost and hasn’t gotten the praise they deserve. But there’s never been a calendar for it or a plan, it’s been all quite random.
And at that point we realized there’s one that really should have happened long ago, for someone we know is adored and appreciated very broadly in the fan community, but for whom that appreciation has never really found its proper form. Perhaps the fondness for his work is just so universal and ubiquitous that it never stuck out as a necessity? I know I’ve very casually quipped that he’s The Best Dancer in the World, like how I describe Luke Murphy and Will Seefried as Jesus Christs; this hasn’t really done right by him.
But it’s not even a hyperbolic description. Anyone who saw Austin’s Boy Witch - and hopefully it is not gone forever - got to witness a stunning display of strength and grace, pathos and melancholy. I have never seen such exquisite agony as his pool table solo; it is simply without equal. I’ve written previously that Austin’s performance is strongly reminiscent of Jordan Morley’s take on the character - singularly devastating and entrancing - which is all the more surprising as they never overlapped. I had the good fortune to have an entire loop alone with him in late March. I don’t even know if there was an audience in the building that night; I was transfixed.
I’ve unfortunately never seen his Speakeasy Barman. I hear high praise, even if it is just washing cardboard. If anyone can turn that into something worthwhile, it is surely this talent. And as I noted yesterday, he will bring some extraordinary elements into his new role as the Porter, and (no pressure) I really hope I get to see this someday soon.
I sometimes feel that there are few genuine opportunities for unanimity in the SNM universe but this must surely be one of them: we are incredibly fortunate that Austin came to this show and shares his gifts with us.
I was doing the thing I swore I would never do. I was already covered in someone else’s blood, there was grave yard dirt in my ballet flats, the taste of tears in my mouth and I was gingerly feeli…
Here’s a big long blog post that was submitted by a reader. Thanks!
I knew the London trip was going to be great when on the first night I found this doorbell right next to the restaurant where we had dinner. We ended up seeing three performances of The Drowned Man, which I will briefly recap after the jump, along with some criticisms and inevitable Sleep No More comparisons. You’ve been warned, there will be some spoilers (nothing too intense though).
But before that and on that very subject: thank you to everyone for doing a good job of not spoiling TDM for me at all. I had very little idea of what to expect and the soundtrack was entirely a surprise to me.
On with the shows!Read more