I know what you must be thinking…a drowned man? What is this girl doing in London? But it’s actually not a real life drowning man…just the title of PunchDrunk’s new show. The Drowned Man takes place in a Hollywood Studio set in the 1950s.
You enter an elevator, and one of the hosts of the movie wrap party greets you. He filled us in on some drama on the set. He took us to the first floor and shoved Emily, Stephanie, and some other people onto the set. Then Scarlett and I were taken up to the next few floors. We walked through an empty trailer park with eerie mobile homes cluttered everywhere. In the distance we wondered through the woods and up the stairs to the outskirts of the movie set. We saw four rows or so of scarecrow figures staring ahead at a funeral scene. That is after we were shocked to step into sand instead of a wooden floor. It said beware and signs of do not enter.
Scarlett was very jumpy and I decided I’d get more out of it alone, so when we wandered back down and finally found some actors, I let myself get separated into a crowd.
I saw many different scenes throughout the night, and characters of all types. I walked into a deserted movie theatre and heard what sounded like a huge fight behind the screen. I also watched a guy alone in a room cross dress….sounds like Hollywood? The English cast did an impressive job of keeping up the American accents.
I found the hidden bar on the set, where the wrap party would take place. I had a nice tall glass of champagne, and one of the actresses told me I was easy to take advantage of and basically called me a ‘vixon’. Or slut if we’re using common terms. I played along, it was funny. I also enjoyed the group of three they teased and said were stars of LoveBoat. They impressively sang the Carousel song as the threesome awkwardly danced for a crowd.
The actors did a good job that night picking people who showed resistance, or looked shy. They definitely were reading body language and picking the people who weren’t as eager. I was slightly sad because I love volunteering and being involved (former actor)….I guess they could tell 😦 oh well.
I ran into others from class at the bar, and feeling a bit more giddy…I ran out to explore more of the set. I watched a woman go insane in makeup and be questioned by the doctor of her black eye. She wiped the makeup off and ran to set for a scene of murder.
The show ended in a huge dance number and they impressively gathered all audience from all levels (about 4-5) of the studio set. Everyone clapped along and in the end it felt like a giant party. Most people went to the bar afterwards, and we went back to the flats to talk with our Theatre teacher.
I was proud to point out how I noticed the set had a theme of eyes 🙂 It was great that I wasn’t the only one to notice. Every level had something to do with eyes…whether it was the show at the cinema’s title, or pictures with eyes cut out, or mannequin heads with eye pieces. We had pizza and drinks, and then it was off to homework.
I think this show was a great experience, and if I had the money I’d go again! I didn’t get to see everything and I had no clue at times what was going on. I think you could see this multiple times and always have a different experience. It was more like people watching at a mall then seeing a play. You saw lives flash by. Did I mention that the hall time we wore masks similar to comedia del arte? So no expression of face was visible. It was like we were ghosts or shadows in the background.
Punchdrunk travels all around, so if they ever come to New York or your in London…GO SEE THEM 🙂 ❤
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