Tennessee Williams spent enough time in hotels to notice something fundamentally rotten about them. They recur in his work as liminal spaces filled with twisted master-slave relations and a sexual threat that hangs in the air like Febreze. Defibrillator, a deeply impressive new theatre company, have brought three of Williams's late short plays to life in three stuffy rooms of the Grange Hotel, and the result is a disquieting triumph.
From a vicious honeymooning couple tearing into one another in a New Orleans shag-pit ('Green Eyes')?to a bed-ridden grande dame being shaken down for her jewels by an unscrupulous bellboy ('Sunburst'), each of the plays offers a claustrophobic glimpse into a dangerous locked-off world.
With the audience crammed against the walls as performers storm into en suite bathrooms and rifle through fitted wardrobes, the occasional discomfort and sight-line problems only serve to make the experience all the more real and considerably more disturbing.
The plays themselves – never before seen in this country – are packed as neatly as a travel-bag and they're directed and performed with considerable skill, but it's the intelligent, detailed integration of the setting that makes 'The Hotel Plays' unmissable.
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