Q&A with Hotel Medea

Hotel Medea is set to return to London for a second spell of innovative theatre. Our man Milo has already told us why last year’s performance was one of the best nights of his life! Now, we’re going to build the hype further with a bit of a Q&A with the people behind Hotel Medea.

How successful do you feel the run of shows last summer went?
It depends on how one choses to measure success, however we believe there were many achievements for the project after six years of making. Some of these include selling out two months in advance, extending the run twice, as well as audiences unanimously telling us they had felt welcomed and well-hosted. We look after our audiences very well!

I understand you played around with many aspects of the production during the run – how much did the performance evolve from night to night?
The process is an ongoing reflection on and with audiences, every single night. Therefore we cannot help but adjust our actions as performers to be better hosts to the audience each time. The audience’s experience is paramount to the overnight event, therefore, we cannot afford to stop working and looking for ways to improve.

What’s the difference in the way in which the audience embraces the show in Brazil, and here in the UK? Especially with it being so full of audience immersion…
“A few more minutes”. Brazilian audiences in general understand the codes of the rhythms without much instruction. The only difference here is a greater clarity needed in opening the invitation to the audience in the right moment and the the right way – once they realise this they’re fully involved (and we’ve got videos to prove it!)

How do you think it affects the experience of Hotel Medea, seeing the second act isolated on its own, compared to as a triptych of acts?
This is an experiment for us as well. We have accepted Digital Stages’ proposition to run the second part of Hotel Medea as a stand alone piece. Drylands is self-suffucient dramaturgically and it will be interesting for us to see how audiences interact with it in a more ‘normal’ time of day. We will also show clips of the first and third parts of Hotel Medea to allow audiences to understand how the performance fits into the trilogy as a whole.

Jungle absolutely adored the midnight kick-off and nocturnal nature of the show, but does it change the essence of the performance for both the actors and audience alike with the show commencing at a more reasonable hour?
It changes completely! However this will not be a lesser experience, only different. And we are very much interested in continuous experiments with performances in different hours of day and playing with different levels of consciousness as audiences interact with the piece.

What does it mean to be showcasing the production as part of the Digital Stages festival? How important is the role of technology and digital media in the play?
The role of digital media is central to our investigation with communication technology and surveillance. At times the technology aspect is at the forefront of the piece, however at other times the influence is very subtle and less obvious.

When can we expect Hotel Medea back in the UK after the festival?
At the Edinburgh Festival in August.

Questions by Milo Steelefox


Hotel Medea: Drylands @ Digital Stages Festival
22-24 April 2011, 7pm
£15 full price / £9 concessions

Venue: Trinity Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Place, London, E14 0JY
A 10min walk from East India DLR / Free parking for audiences.
Box Office: 020 7503 1646 or arcolatheatre.com


DIGITAL STAGES is a new festival of performing arts and digital media organised by
multimedia company GLAZ (www.glaz.co.uk)

DRYLANDS is Part II of the Hotel Medea Trilogy. In a cold post-modern wasteland communication technology gives the illusion of intimacy whilst creating a cold absence. Hot chocolate, lullabies and CCTV cameras create different perspectives on betrayal.

Hotel Medea is produced and created by Persis-Jade Maravala and Zecora Ura www.medea.tv

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