★★★ | Hotel for CriminalsPR Supplied
Hotel for Criminals is a reworking of Louis Feuillade’s silent film Phantasmagoria – Director Patrick Kennedy’s adaptation of Richard Foreman’s musical went the other way and implements a form of Chinese torture, attempting to impair the audience’s eardrums sixteen times in the form of a deafening hand pump emergency horn buzzer. Nodding off isn’t an option.
You’ll be transported to a perverted French realm where sense has no bearing – a concoction of Mary Poppins’ Chim-Chim-Cheree with more of an Elvira approach, thrown together with a clown-style Night of the Living Dead meets Dracula – guided through by creepy narrator.
Betwixt the chess-piece mobile, camp whirling walks of terror, a journo’s nuptials, vampire blood-supping, dead-pan humour, a hit-and-jaunt and a foreboding big black bird are some ghoulishly good musical numbers and spanking face-painted blood suckers: masters of their craft. Warning: Kate Baxter’s (Irma Vep) chilling vocals and the live band could possess – don’t forget your crucifix.
Not everyone should check into Hotel For Criminals: you’ve got to have the right constitution for this sort of chaos, riddledom and buzzer torment – get clearance from your parole officer first.
Hotel For Criminals plays at New Wimbledon Studio from 18-29 October