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Yesterday was wedding anniversary number three. Three years already! Doesn’t really seem like it. Did you know that the traditional third anniversary giftage is leather? Yeah, we weren’t about to pass that opportunity up. The boy got me these. His present is going to be slightly belated because I had to custom order it, but it is just as leather and possibly just as awesome.

We usually go apple picking on our anniversary, but the weather has been cold and rainy and not apple picking conducive, so we came up with alternate plans.

We went to see Sleep No More, a Hichcock-flavored version of Macbeth staged in an abandoned Brookline school. I am very thankful that I am still on the A.R.T. mailing list, I hadn’t heard of it until a postcard landed in my mailbox last week and it seemed the perfect Octobery anniversary thing to do.

I have been trying all day to come up with ways to explain the sheer wonderment that is this show. It doesn’t even seem proper to call it a show, that sounds too passive. It’s an experience. It’s exploratory theatre. You enter this place and you’re set loose in a creepy, beautiful, moody wonderland of darkness and mystery and Shakespearean goodness.

I loved every second of it. The boy and I split up fairly early to explore solo, which is absolutely the way to do it. I think it’s the only way to really immerse yourself in the environment. We both had wildly different experiences and we both adored it and thought all three hours flew by. It’s not enough time to see everything, even though we left sweaty and exhausted and the boy ended up with (stage) blood on his shirt. We’re going to go again before it closes. I am vaguely bitter that I don’t live in the UK to better access everything Punchdrunk does, but I feel very, very lucky to be able to have this production a comparatively short train ride away.

I have to admit, I don’t like going to the theatre. I think I overdosed on it back in the day when I was a theatre major and now I find it draining and uncomfortable. I tend to avoid it entirely and I despise audience participation. But I was too curious about this to resist checking it out. And I adored it, possibly more than any theatrical experience I’ve ever had. It was inventive and experimental without being pretentious. Giving the audience members masks provided a brilliant sort of comfortable anonymity. Loved it. LOVED.

I can’t wait to go back.

Careena Melia Hector Harkness

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