By now, if you haven’t heard of Sleep No More, a macabre, interactive version of Macbeth by the British theatrical group Punchdrunk, you are probably living under a rock. But while many of the mysteries of the show have been revealed via blogs and Yelp, the folks behind the performance keep adding new bits.
Their most recent addition is Gallow Green, a rooftop space above the masked madness below. Right now, the airy bar is in previews, so forgive them if the older lady in white stumbles, both on her words and the uneven terrine—it’s still 100 percent worth checking out. First, it’s on a roof, which always makes things more exciting, especially at sunset after a heavy rainstorm. Luckily, even if it rains, the majority of the space is sheltered in airy tarps. On one end they have a glorious old train car, gutted and rusted with delicate lace curtains hanging in the windows and a long, wooden table in the center. The rest of Gallow Green is a mesh of tables situated around pentagonal structure with rows of fresh herbs growing and white clad waiters running around. The whole thing brings to mind a fairy tale or some Shakespearian sonnet, perhaps it’s an urban version of Midsummer’s Night Dream?
Now, as for the acting part: like Sleep No More, there is a vague plot to Gallow Green, as well as an ominous elevator. This one is named Miranda, and the groans and squeaks that emanate from her make you wonder if the noises are for real or a soundtrack hidden in the paneling. Once you arrive upstairs, a hostess running the “fresh” flower stall (ask her for a stem, she will let you have it) greets you and leads you upstairs. We were graciously seated and poured over the menu of punches like the Sleep Bowmore Punch (made with Madeira wine, Bowmore single-malt whisky, nutmeg, and orange Curacao), which were created by cocktail expert David Wondrich. They also have a nice house cocktail list with appropriately themed names like Damned Spot (with Famous Grouse whisky, limes, Fentiman’s ginger beer, and a “spot” of Petchaud’s bitters) and Third Degree (with gin, dry vermouth, absinthe, and orange bitters). For food, the plates are small but succulent and run from three to seventeen dollars. We loved the warm pretzels with spicy mustard, Scotch quail eggs, the fun jar of summer pickles, and rich pulled brisket toast with tomato jam.
Once we settled into our cocktails and nibbles, that’s when we realized Gallow Green is a play. It became clear after a mysterious lady in a white satin gown came around and told us she and her husband threw this party for an important woman every night, just in case she showed up. The husband came by and said the same thing, and wispy girls flitted about the place looking lost, sad, and in love. Apparently, none were the one the couple was waiting for, but I did leave wondering who she was and what would happen if she did show, which, undoubtedly, at some point she does. With Gallow Green, at every turn you get the sense of the mystery and finesse that made Sleep So More so popular, and, if they play their cards right, it will be just as successful—at least until winter comes.