LONDON — Inventive Brit legit outfit Punchdrunk, creators of current Gotham sensation “Sleep No More,” return to London with the world preem of “The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable,” a major new co-production with the National Theater.
Opening June 20, the show will be the company’s biggest production to date. In keeping with all Punchdrunk work, “Drowned Man” will be housed not in a traditional theater space but in a vast disused building. Details of the show’s Central London location have yet to be announced, but the production will be helmed by a.d. Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, who also choreographs. Barrett also designs the show with Livi Vaughan and Beatrice Minns. Mike Gunning designs the lights.
Inspired by “Woyzeck” by German Expressionist writer Georg Buchner, the action of the 19th-century play has been relocated to the seedy Hollywood underworld at Temple Pictures, a fictional movie studio.
“Sleep No More” was originally co-produced in the U.S. with Boston’s American Repertory Theater and was the most successful show in the latter’s 30-year history. The Gotham transfer is still running at the McKittrick Hotel — the Manhattan venue that was a nightclub before Punchdrunk moved in — two years after its March 2011 opening.
National Theater a.d. Nicholas Hytner said, “Punchdrunk have provided some of my most exciting dramatic experiences over the past decade. We are delighted to be working with them again in London after a six-year gap while they wowed New York.”