Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 12 June 2021
Creator Craig Ilott brings the sublime French cabaret L’Hôtel to the Space Theatre in what can only be described as a beautiful and breathtakingly gorgeous piece of art. Designed especially for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2021, L’Hôtel captures your imagination and intrigues from the moment you enter the door with a waitress/waiter showing you to your chairs in the ‘hotel lobby’, pouring each person a glass of Pol Roger Champagne NV Reserve Brut, whilst another server brings a cheese board full of blue cheese, brie and cheddar with accompaniments of dried grapes, baguette and crackers.
As you wine and dine, hotel staff break into choreographed dance numbers to French trance like tunes that play in the background. The audience is also treated to a number of guests checking in and going about their daily activities such as a guest running a bath or cleaning staff tending to the rooms upstairs. For 30 minutes the audience is treated to the immersive experience and then the seamless transfer sequence begins: table staff inform you that it is last call for drinks, table lights are collected and Caroline Nin takes to the corner stage as the lounge singer performing three songs and introducing the audience to dessert in the form of a delicate chocolate éclair. As the theatre then plunges into darkness, the mood switches and suddenly we are transferred into captivating acts from burlesque with Lexi Strumolo and Bri Emrich to flying luggage with Masha Terentieva and everything in between.
In some ways it almost feels naughty to speak of the acts that transpire as if I am somehow ruining the suspenseful nature of the show by divulging the secrets that happen behind the hotel’s closed doors. One thing I can say though is Brendan MacLean’s haunting version of People, rang through the Space Theatre as though it was reaching into your soul and bringing out every ounce of happiness to a point where you could feel the undoubtable sense of pure joy swimming around the room. This matched with incredible aerial acrobatics from Beau Sargent was a match made in heaven. Such a wonderful note to end the show on.
For something that was derived on the idea of “can you do something French with food involved”, Craig Ilot certainly brought something magnificent to life.
*Black tie dress code applies for this show and there is a table service bar located within the theatre.
Reviewed by Tara Forbes-Godfrey
Rating out of 5: 5
Season SOLD OUT