Mystery Surrounds New Punchdrunk Production

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 64 months ago
Mystery Surrounds New Punchdrunk Production

Immersive theatre specialists Punchdrunk have announced a major new collaboration with the National Theatre to be held at a yet-to-be-revealed location.

The production called "The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable" will be inspired by one of the most performed and influential German plays, Woyzeck. The tale of murder, infidelity and madness induced by a diet of peas should provide rich pickings for the theatre company behind the Poe-based hit The Masque Of The Red Death.

Their biggest show to date, Punchdrunk's take on Georg Büchner's work (who inconveniently died of typhus at 23 before finishing his masterpiece) will be set in a Hollywood studio filled with "dreamers who exist at the fringes of the movie industry".

Those eager to get a sneak peak of the show before its grand opening this June should wander down to deepest darkest Hipsterville where a "teaser" extract is being enacted in a Kingsland Road shop. Those who find the venue are shown down to the basement where they can hear an extract from the play and walk away with a charm which may come in useful during the show proper.

As for the venue? Punchdrunk artistic director Felix Barrett is keeping tight-lipped on the precise location but has said "we're delighted to have found it. We saw it for the first time about three years ago and we failed to land it at the time, but it's come back. It has a melancholy and a mystery to it that sits with Buchner’s visceral atmosphere. It is disused, versatile and currently very, very cold." Could this be an allusion to the recently-shuttered Old Vic Tunnels which is close to the National Theatre or the Dalston-friendly Stoke Newington International Airport which closes on 1 April?

Photo credit: Barney Moss

Last Updated 21 March 2013

Dean Nicholas

Probably won't be the the Old Vic tunnels -- Punchdrunk have already been there; they did the first ever show at the venue, in 2009:

And the report says it's in Zone One, which rules out Stoke Newington Int'l AIrport.


Saw Faust several years back... Absolutely amazing... I'll definitely won't be missing that one


I've booked tickets (I'm an NT member so got advanced booking) and the venue is described as "Paddington" with the instruction "Use London Street entrance"

Barney Moss

Hi - I'm always happy when you use one of my Flickr pics, but please credit them - they're Creative Commons Attribution Licensed.

-cheers, Barney

Paul Drury

presume it's happening at the Holborn venue where YMBBT took place in December 2011..? The old Royal Mail building, the sorting office or something?


One of the articles written on this said that the venue would be about 190,000 sq ft big - the Old Vic Tunnels was only 30,000 sq ft, and Shunt Vaults were 70,000.

The warehouse / office that Secret Cinema used for Prometheus was 195,000 sq ft, so I'd guess it's either that or a similar-sized space (maybe the Royal Mail building in Holborn, as Paul suggests?).