Hotel Paradiso (***)
Posted by Beep the Meep on Sun, 19 Feb 2012.
Hotel Paradiso, by European drama group Familie Flöz, is an odd mix of comedy and drama. It tells the story of a family run guest house set in a remote European mountain range (I would like to say the Alps, but due to the absence of dialogue I can't be sure) and the tensions between bringing in the new against the old. The drama is told through mime with gestures, movement, props, and music used to tell the story.
The cast of four actors each perform several roles but its hard, no it's impossible, to tell which performer is playing which character. This is because of the full facial masks used to help create the characters. Also each character has a complete costume which shows what sort of the person they are. For example, the modernising lady wears the latest fashion while the chef dons a full canteen uniform. To summarise, the technical and costume sides to this production are fantastic and help bring out the characters and the comedy.
The drawbacks to Hotel Paradiso is the sense that sometimes you don't know quite what's going on. The actors perform with expression and wit but at times you feel like your watching something that you don't quite get. The slapstick moments are funny, but you need to be really into that kind of comedy to fully appreciate it. I'm not saying that HP isn't funny – it is, but like Miranda Hart or Frankie Boyle, it is for an acquired taste.
Hotel Paradiso runs at the Curve Theatre, Leicester