‘A Perfect Tonic to the Bank Holiday Hangover’

LeftLion, Nottingham’s premier cultural commentators, have reviewed Wish You Were Here and you can read what they made of it by clicking on these words. If for whatever reason that link won’t work for you though, the full text of Alyson Stoneman’s review is also available after the jump…

The eccentric tattiness of the Great British Holiday – along with notions of absence and longing – inspired the latest live art event from Hatch at Hotel Deux. 16 artists took the music venue back to its roots for the evening, performing site-specific work in various parts of the hotel. Intermittent drizzle added authentic Bank Holiday atmosphere outside, where a cardboard ice cream van hosted a surreal puppet show and Karaoke. In reception, guests were signed in by Pearl Smith, an agoraphobic former glamour model offering extra services – while a murder investigation in the front bar encouraged slander, aspersions and false allegations to be cast in all directions. Apprehensive drinkers were photographed and interviewed by a good-cop bad-cop duo while the victim’s corpse sprawled convincingly at the top of the stairs.

We all love dressing up and Hello Friends theatre packed the dining room with observers, performing vignettes as different characters chosen by the audience from a series of photographs pinned to the wall. The actors selected the matching costumes from a rail and assumed the role – from mysterious French women to burglars and Woodstock hippies. Votes were cast for the best character, who took to the dance floor later in the evening for a final performance.

The fun part of live performance art is getting drawn in by the weird and wonderful characters and the scenarios they create. There was plenty to choose from, with 5 minute humorous sketches in the guitar bar, a man wandering about with a ‘suitcase full of stories’ and a woman on the patio becoming a living beach (which looked like a form of torture) under a pile of sand transported from Skegness. Getting from one performance to the next around the venue also involved regular trips to the bar, which kept everyone happy.

Co-director Nathan Miller explained that Hatch likes to move around, so the next event will be in another venue with a different theme and they are always keen to recruit new writers, storytellers, actors and musicians. The evening was a perfect tonic to the Bank Holiday weekend hangover, and judging by the enthusiastic turnout, looks likely to go from strength to strength.

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