"...And Darkness Descended"


Written by Joseph Wade
29 Monday 29th August 2011

Punchdrunk are well busy (as we say in theatre land) at the moment. They have a new show starting in London this week and Sleep No More is having an extended run across the Atlantic, due to popular demand.

'...and darkness descended' kicks off this week in the Old Vic Tunnels under Waterloo. The bleak title belies the fact that its actually a comedy... Only joking, of course it isn't: Punch Drunk don't do laughs. It's actually a one-way journey into the rancid bowels of terror and an exploration of notions of '...the audience as player, participant and potentially character within the project.' I don't have a clue what that means either but am looking forward to finding out, and you can too as there are still free tickets going, just click the link below. The production promises to have a distinct gaming flavour as it has actually been put together with help from PlayStation!  

If that's not enough immersive entertainment and you're heading to New York anyway, it's worth a visit to Hotel Mckittrick, the opulently attired 1930 setting for Sleep No More. Loosely based on Macbeth the show is an elegant multistorey splatterfest of gore, babies, drum and bass and lots of wandering around feeling lost in a mask.

It's a rewarding experience although a bit less like watching a play than visiting a stately home haunted by a generation of it's occupants. This may be because there are too few performers to sustain any sort of narrative thread, and they're all mute too so its not quite as engaging as, say Masque of the Red Death (which is a very tough act to follow to be fair.) A bi-product of the lack of actors around the place is the fun to be had watching the ebbs and flows of the experience hungry audience.     

While I'm talking of fun in hotels I said I'd mention my new best friends at the Thompson Lower East Side which was slightly less bloodstained than The Mckittrick but no less exciting, given its location, pool and views of Manhattan.        

To apply for your free tickets for '...and darkness descended' for Saturday and Sunday up until midday on 30th August email accesslive@scee.net stating your preferred date.

"...and darkness descended" will be on at the Waterloo Arches from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th September 2011. Entry is free, but registration is a must. Click here for more information.

Due to overwhelming demand there are no longer Punch Drunk tickets available. We're sorry for the misleading headline but we sent mailer before they ran out.

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