‘Hotel Paradiso’ & ‘The Elephant in the Room’

Hotel Paradiso

Hotel-ParadisoSo warm, why do the venues have to be so warm… Melting up the stairs, and past a Mark Rylance in a neckerchief, we awaited our day in the life of Hotel Paradiso and its resident power-struggling family, situated in the snowy hills of…somewhere. I also think I was among the few who have zero issues with mask.

The thing about a purely physical show is you have to rely on everything else except the spoken word. Gestures become words, movement the punctuation, and the plot has to be simple, condensed to it’s purest form, otherwise how can anyone follow it? All of that should be obvious, but it’s easily forgotten.

I’ve had this happen in numerous projects – rather than focussing on the plot profession, you get lost in the funny idea here, a little improv there. And because you enjoy them so much, you think they’re so necessary to the show, you can’t face to remove them. Problem is, a lot of the time, they don’t need to be there. And this is the only fault I can find with the show: plot.

Despite an entertaining hour or so, the show never expanded on what was stated in the blurb. At times, the pace dragged through little vignettes that led to nothing, taking up the majority of the stage time. The final crux of the piece, however, where corpses keep appearing, took no time at all, leading to a rushed ending. If anything, surely this was the story? Entering “a whirl of nasty events” is not something you leave until the end, rather from midway, especially when it takes up half of the blurb-space.

Hotel Paradiso‘ at Pleasance Courtyard

The Elephant in the Room

Performing in a tent, opposite another bass-ridden tent, in a field that Edinburgh drunks tend to wander through (loudly), is a hard gig. It’s an even harder gig when your piece has a slow-dance during the other tent’s rave number, or the stagedoor has drunken festivalgoers shouting “is this the right way?” about twenty minutes in.

I don’t really know what to say about this show, it was phenomenal. It was silly, sensual, physical – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tap routine look that sexy before. Really, they made tap sexy. Tap.

The show was wonderfully executed, professional but not so much to still hear their shouts and pants (Circa’s Close Up could have learned a thing or two), and the music was incredibly well chosen. I just wish I’d heard about these guys sooner…

The Elephant in the Room‘ at Circus Hub, The Meadows


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