‘It’s very animalistic’: is Malthouse’s new immersive show Australia’s answer to Sleep No More?

‘It’s very animalistic’: is Malthouse’s new immersive show Australia’s answer to Sleep No More?

The Guardian

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Because The Night is a decadent and elaborate production based on Hamlet, and a radical post-lockdown return for Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre

There’s a moment when I’m burrowing through a small room – a deranged costumier’s studio or shopfront perhaps, jam-packed with decadent evening wear hanging next to macabre pig outfits – and I spy a rack of furs. There’s a gap in the coats I can pass through, like one of the Pevensie children, and soon I’m alone in a white-tinselled winter wood, draped in a black cape, wearing a sinister rabbit mask. And I think: “Where am I?”

Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre is emerging from a year of lockdowns with its most enterprising work to date. Because The Night is a fully immersive theatrical experience which takes place over a multitude of rooms audiences are free to explore. The two main stage theatres, along with a staff car park, storage areas and the theatres’ dressing rooms, have been transformed into a labyrinthine palace and mill. The six actors are scattered throughout, alone or in pairs. Audiences can follow them or run off and probe spaces unencumbered.

Related: ‘Don’t bring your best clothes’: Melbourne’s Rising festival promises you will get your hands dirty

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