Reviewer: Dawn Teo
Performance: 14 & 15 July 2016
First staged in 2015, Hotel is a five-hour long epic that still manages to touch the audiences. Having caught the show last year and now at Lasalle’s SIA Theatre, I find myself going home with new perspectives of my identity and homeland.
Hotel captures the various narratives from Singapore as a colony till today, and even into the possible future. As chambermaids clear the room for the next guest to enter, a new story unfolds. The multiple stories reveal the perspectives of different individuals as we follow the journey of the room, nation and its people through time and history
With all the action centering on the same hotel room, the set is the constant – two walls and two doors to resemble an entrance, washroom exit as well as the layout of the room. The walls have multimedia projections to illustrate the movement of time periods – from patterned wallpaper to iconic events displayed through video. It is simple and functional. The scene changes are done quickly because of how well-practiced the chambermaids are. It is quite a delight to witness the room morphing in front of our eyes
But the stars of the show are the actors. An ensemble of 14 actors play characters of multiple ethnicities in different scenes of the play and at other times working the transitions. I enjoyed the use of different languages, accents that add to the authentic portrayal of these characters. Humour is used to underpin issues we as a nation wallpaper over. Propositions are declared but I am allowed to make up my own mind.
Hotel is one play that traverses time and space and is a piece of brilliant story-telling about ourselves and our home. Perhaps it challenges the common perception that we are too young a nation to have memories and histories to call our own.
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ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
HOTEL by Wild Rice
30 June – 24 July 2016
LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore Airlines Theatre
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Teo Dawn is currently a student with the Intercultural Theatre Institute. She has been in theatre since the age of 14, working on theatre productions as an actress and as a stage manager. Dawn is also a writer with Poached Magazine, PopSpoken as well as Scene.SG.