Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Review: Grand Hotel at the Southwark Playhouse

Grand Hotel
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Tuesday 4th August 2015

Set in 1928 Berlin, Grand Hotel is performed with alluring charm and mystery. The musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1989, intertwines various storylines following both staff and guests at the hotel over the course of a weekend.

The piece is cleverly put together; it makes a nice change to see a show which offers a small snapshot into the lives of numerous characters and leaves many questions unanswered. We know little about these people's backstories and ultimately are left to make up our own minds about what happens after the events which unfold. I love the mystery and excitement of meeting such brilliant characters under such intense circumstances. 

Producer Danielle Tarento has gathered a top notch creative team who clearly share and understand the vision behind this production. Every detail - from Thom Southerland's slick staging to Lee Proud's beautifully stylised choreography and Derek Anderson's atmospheric lighting design - complements the piece perfectly. The musical is at home at the Southwark Playhouse; you feel as if you are peering into this extraordinary world as the piece progresses.

Performances of the night come from Italian musical theatre star Christine Grimandi who brings heart to her portrayal of Grushinskaya, Scott Garnham whose vocals soar as Baron and Victoria Serra who proves herself as a true triple threat with her performance of Flaemmchen. 

The ensemble are on point and the entire cast work spectacularly well together - there are too many stand outs to mention. The company numbers provide the highlights of the evening, it's impossible not to miss something as there is so much going on.

Grand Hotel is a unique show and I'm thrilled to see it back on a London stage. Southerland's revival is nothing short of triumphant. With dark and tender moments, and some funny one-liners, Grand Hotel takes you on quite a ride - what a show!

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Grand Hotel runs at the Southwark Playhouse until 5th September 2015.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Aviv Ron

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