First Look: Punchdrunk’s SLEEP NO MORE opens in Shanghai

Punchdrunk have today released production images as their award-winning theatrical experience, SLEEP NO MORE, premieres in Shanghai.

Home to Punchdrunk International’s brand new production of SLEEP NO MORE, the “McKinnon Hotel” opened its doors to Chinese audiences last night ushering them into a visceral, tactile and darkly cinematic telling of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Macbeth.  The production has broken box office records in Shanghai, selling over 10,000 tickets in its first four days of sales. It is now sold out until March 2017. Spanning five floors of a vast, specially constructed building in the Jing’An district of the city, this is the first immersive work of this scale to be performed in China.

Punchdrunk have presented their ground-breaking immersive theatre work around the globe for over 15 years.  To create this new production, set in Shanghai, they have collaborated with Chinese co-producers SMG Live and Chinese artists. The original creative teams have been working in China with their local counterparts for several months creating a unique production that shows the world of 1930s Shanghai in sumptuous cinematic detail.

The Punchdrunk creative team delved into historical documents in museums and archives to provide authentic touches and minute details. Audiences are able to open every one of over 3,000 drawers to read every document, examine every prop and article of clothing chosen to re-create the era, all of which can be verified, including addresses on envelopes, the script on handwritten letters and shapes of the stamps. Even the scent and temperature of each space has been elaborately designed by the creative team giving individual rooms a character of their own.

Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, led a delegation from the UK’s cultural industries to visit the McKinnon Hotel last week. The Secretary of State for Culture addressed British and Chinese guests at a reception hosted by the British Council as part of the 4th UK-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue. As she congratulated the combined efforts of both companies Karen Bradley remarked, “this Punchdrunk – SMG Live co-production is exactly the kind of long-term mutually beneficial cultural partnership that I hope will become a model of success in this golden era of UK-China cultural relations”.

The creative team for Punchdrunk’s SLEEP NO MORE is Felix Barrett (Co-Direction, Co-Design and Lighting), Maxine Doyle (Co-Direction and Choreography), Livi Vaughan and Beatrice Minns (Co-Design), Stephen Dobbie (Sound Design), David Israel Reynoso (Costume Design) and Colin Nightingale (Creative Producer).

SLEEP NO MORE is performed by an international company, including many long-term Punchdrunk collaborators alongside a host of some of the most exciting and innovative performers China has to offer.