Jackson Lane describes itself as the North London Creative Space and circus troupe Lost in Translation Circus regard it as a spiritual home for their narrative driven circus act show.
Following the success of their show “Hogwallops”, “Hotel Paradiso” tells loosely of the efforts of the hotel owner and her staff to save the business from a greedy banker and her husband. It creates the feel of Faulty Towers meets Hotel Budapest on a very low budget.
The hotel concierge, Serge , played by Lawrence Swaddle, welcomes the audience on arrival as a character reminiscent of Basil Fawlty, although the young audience invited on stage in the pre-show, to enter the hotel through the front door would not have recognised him. He asks for tips and points out the pool location, both key plot points! Serge narrates the story which is used to link a variety of circus acts which provide the show highlights.
The Maid, Roisin Morris, proves her bravery, strength and flexibility, swinging from the chandelier without a safety chain. The young audience are enthralled by the acrobatic routine, although perhaps a “don’t try this at home” warning might have been appropriate! She also performs a clever four chair balancing trick.
The hotel owner Madam, played by Annabel Carberry does a brilliant hula hoop routine while trying to pour and drink a glass of wine with an increasing number of hoops spinning around her waist, legs, arm and neck. She then takes to the air on a white swing rope, although it is a relief to see with a safety chain as she swings high up into the grid.
The bell boy, Matthew Green, does an excellent juggling and balancing routine with bottles, glasses, trays and a wine cooler. His final trick on a makeshift table with a tray sliding on the wine cooler is a wonderful feat of balance.
The husband and wife banker, Mrs Sausage , are played by Massimiliano Rossetti and Natasha Rushbrooke end the show with a well worked high routine involving the rest of the cast in tumbling and falls but featuring the strength of the husband and the daring swings of the Banker.
Chris Dingli , the director packs plenty of ideas into the 55 minute show although the bucket dance is a bit bizarre and the linking story a little thin with each circus act only tenuously linked to the plot !
It is great that circus acts are finding their way into the theatre. This year’s GB Pantomime Awards nominations include circus acts the Berserk Riders and the Britains Got Talent, Rola Bola man, Sachs Williams in the category Best Speciality Act. Any one of the Lost in Translation Circus artistes would fit into such a theatre spectacle to bring their skills to a wider audience. In the meantime this is a worthwhile half term treat for kids in North London or in April evening in Ipswich, Bristol and Lincoln.
Reviewed by Nick Humby
Photo: Trevor Fuller
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