Part of the annual Shiny New Festival at The Lantern Theatre, Hotel is a piece produced by ArtGroupie. Sadly this festival is the last one because The Lantern will be closing its doors at the end of the month. It will be a sad loss to Liverpool and the creative community of the North West.
ArtGroupie are a nonprofit social enterprise organisation, promoting the arts in the North West. They bring us ‘HOTEL’ written and directed by John Maguire, with co-director Moira Kenny. The cast consisted of Donna Lesley Price and Eddie Fortune.
They created a one hour play where the setting doesn’t change, a room in a low budget hotel, but the occupants do. We meet four of them. Firstly, a couple celebrating their anniversary in their usual way. Next a lady marking the death of her mother but with a secret to reveal. And the final guest was a disillusioned middle-aged gay clown, regaling us with stories from his past, present and hopefully future conquests.
Of the three parts, I felt the last scene was the most effective. Eddie gave a stand out performance, drawing on his comedy stand-up background. He played with the audience, both in terms of interaction and tone, he was extremely engaging and believable. Donna, in the second scene was also extremely effective. She gave a nuanced performance that drew the audience to herself right up to the revelation at the end.
It was the first scene of the trio, that I personally felt, fell short of the mark. Eddie and Donna gave great performances but the dialogue was full of clichés and I felt there was a lack of chemistry between them. It also lacked believability, Eddie was obviously too young to play the character he was trying to portray - I hope he thanks me for saying that! I think if his character had been played by an older man the scene would have been more successful.
Overall, it was a great 60 minutes of theatre in a wonderful venue that will be sorely missed. Tonight’s HOTEL wasn’t a 5 star Hilton but it wasn’t a cheap motel either. It was a comfortable place to stop and rest for a while.
Reviewer: Alan Harbottle
Reviewed: 20th July 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★