Thursday, 13 February 2014

Review: The Hotel Plays at the Langham Hotel



The Hotel Plays 
Langham Hotel
Reviewed on Wednesday 12th February 2014


Theatre producers are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to enable audiences to be taken on unforgettable journeys, but Defibrillator have taken this one step further, leaving nothing to the imagination. Tennessee Williams spent most of his later life living in hotel rooms which heavily influenced his later work. Here, three of these plays - The Pink Bedroom, Green Eyes and Sunburst - have been staged at the glorious Langham Hotel.

After meeting in the hotel lobby, the group of around 24 people were guided up flights of stairs and through corridors to the first room. At first the whole experience felt very bizarre, almost as if we were being taken on a school trip. After a short introduction from hotel porter Charlie (played by Linden Walcott-Burton) who later pops up in all three plays, we were whisked off to the first hotel room. 

With just several rows of benches in each room, the plays are a tight squeeze but it's all part of the experience. It really is quite extraordinary to watch a play in a hotel room, I almost felt like an intruder. All three plays are good, self contained pieces of theatre, although they aren't particularly ground-breaking they are engaging enough featuring some interesting twists and turns along the way.

The most compelling play is Green Eyes which is about a newly-wed couple (Aisling Loftus and Gethin Anthony) in New Orleans whose marriage is already at breaking point. It's hard to know which of the pair should be believed and who to side with. 

A sterling performance comes from Carol Macready in the third play, Sunburst. Macready plays retired actress Miss Sails who falls hostage to two young men scheming to steal her priceless sunburst diamond. I do not want to delve into any of the plays further as I think the element of mystery is what makes site-specific theatre so exciting. 

The Hotel Plays is an example of site-specific theatre at its very best, providing a unique and classy evening (or afternoon) of theatre.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)
andrew@westendframe.com

The Hotel Plays runs at the Langham Hotel until Saturday 8th March 2014.
Please visit www.thehotelplays.co.uk for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Simon Annand

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