Monday, 23 June 2014

Review - Hotel at the Shed


A FIRECRACKER of a play about betrayal and integrity and what happens when lies build up has exploded quite literally on to the National Theatre's Shed stage.
Written by Polly Stenham, Hotel is set in an exclusive resort where a family has touched down on holiday. It should be the perfect desert island escape. It's secluded and isolated and just what any family would need to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
But far from looking forward to two weeks away, this is a family which is on the brink of falling apart and it soon becomes crystal clear that something dreadful has happened.
Vivienne we learn was a high ranking government minister in charge of foreign aid. Her husband, Robert, bored and perhaps a bit jealous of her high profile career finds himself meeting someone with whom he starts an online relationship.
The press have found out about his indiscretion and it's now all over the papers, Vivienne has had to resign and in a bid to save his marriage and dodge the paparazzi, Robert has whisked the family off on holiday.
Their two children have been brought along for the ride and are far from thrilled, although it turns out there are more secrets yet to come out.
But things are not all they seem and far from being an idylic two weeks in the sun to patch things up, the family ends up in mortal danger.
The secluded and isolated nature of the hotel makes it the perfect place for one of the housekeepers to exact her revenge on the British government through Vivienne and her family for a dodgy trade deal which has left many of the people in the country impoverished.
It is intense, violent and explosive and there are more than a few moments towards the end when the audience jumps in surprise, shock and astonishment. There are also a few harrowing scenes of violence.
But it is an incredible and thrilling piece of theatre, brilliantly written and with an excellent cast.
Polly Stenham will be talking about the play at a National Theatre Platform event tomorrow (Wednesday June 25) at 6pm. Tickets cost £4.

Hotel is on at the Shed until Saturday, August 2. Tickets from £12. Call the box office on 020 7452 3000 or visit

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