Bus tour marks iconic play's journey to popularity

Updated: Dec 26, 2023 By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai CHINA DAILY Print
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A map of the bus route that takes passengers from Gucheng Park to the McKinnon Hotel. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The immersive theater production Sleep No More is celebrating its seventh anniversary in Shanghai with a special bus tour.

Launched on Dec 15, the McKinnon Bus will take passengers on a theatrical journey through downtown Shanghai. As passengers take the one-hour ride from Gucheng Park to the McKinnon Hotel, which is the home of the show, two actors, playing the conductor and a female passenger, will perform a spin-off story of the play. The bus tour will run until Dec 31.

Jointly produced by Punchdrunk International and SMG Live, Sleep No More, Shanghai has presented more than 1,800 performances to 550,000 people since its premiere in 2016, with box office takings amounting to 470 million yuan ($65.9 million).

Created by Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, Sleep No More is an award-winning immersive theater experience that recounts the classic Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth through a darkly cinematic lens. Audiences can move freely through the show.

Sleep No More, Shanghai features settings reminiscent of 1930s Shanghai, and the McKinnon Hotel, a five-story building at 1013 Beijing Road West, was redesigned to become the home of this site-specific production.

With the average attendance rate of the show exceeding 90 percent, Sleep No More, Shanghai is currently the record holder among residency performance projects in China.

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