No, that’s not a typo in the title – simply a vague attempt at a pun based on one of the loveliest venues the Fringe Festival 2015 has to offer!I headed across the centre of Edinburgh, to the side of town that houses the Pleasance Courtyard only a few days ago to catch a showing of the stunningly rated Hotel Paradiso.The courtyard itself was decked out in eccentric decor that matched the kind of acts performing in their various theatre spaces. In the very middle stood a wacky signpost that (although pretty crazy to look at) was genuinely helpful in navigating the different locations of the ranging venue rooms!No trip would be complete without documenting some scrumptious grub – and the Pulled Pork Hut definitely delivered! Succulent and freshly pulled, these sandwiches are worth getting up early for! The basic sandwich offers plain pulled pork, and from there you have free reign of condiments and additives to sling on top and customise to your taste.Feeling pretty grey-t after chowing down on lunch, and I decided to use the Falafel Hut as an apt backdrop for an outfit-of-the-day. Comfy and casual for sitting in theatres watching shows, but monochromatic and chic with choice elements of the look e.g. the tartan poncho and bright white crocodile print brogues!
Grey high neck tank top – New Look
Grey distressed jeans – H&M
White brogue shoes – River Island
Grey tartan poncho – T K Maxx
Bag – Asos
In the middle of snapping outfits, we were surprised by a meeting with a tall, three footed furry creature campaigning an alternate show hosted in the Pleasance Courtyard. The Chuffalump (as we learned he was called from the other promoters roaming around with the furry fiend) is one of four featuring ‘animals’ in the “ludicrously lyrical and magical tour” of The Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie. A bizarre sounding and looking show – but this family show seems to be a pretty powerful puppet pack with constant five and four star reviews across the board! (With less than a week left of the Fringe Festival, I might just have to pop back over to Pleasance and see what all the fuss is about?)Once we’d had our fill of happy snaps, we trotted through to the Beyond (it sounds much more exotic and mystical than it actually was) and stood in a british fashion (that is the say – queueing) waiting to be allowed into the theatre and grab a good seat.Tickets in hand, and waiting in line early, we were able to get seats in the front row of the theatre! Of the many shows I’ve been lucky enough to catch over the period of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this was one of the largest theatre seating (not including shows held in spaces like King’s Theatre, for example).(I’m not one for taking pictures during a performance, as I like to be fully immersed in what I’m watching. But I’ll insert a number of examples of scenes from the play itself!)The set seems plain at first glance, but every part of its design is ingenuitive and incorporated to unexpected elements of the Hotel Paradiso storyline.
The storyline of Hotel Paradiso follows the strange things that happen at the quaint hotel of the same name. The family run business is clinging together by frayed threads, and the performance presents the psychological and physical hardships this entails. Featuring events of love, thievery and even death (on more than one level) – this is a captivating play performed by the Familie Floz theatre company!Each of the many varying characters are played by one of the only four cast! The talented pool of theatre makers involved in the Familie Floz company makes this and the quick changes between characters possible through the incorporation of large cartoon-like masks. This was a key feature in the company’s establishment – that of rediscovering the traditional techniques of masks in theatre.
Along with this, now iconic, central feature, the plays like Hotel Paradiso use means of nonverbal, artistic and musical creative process to craft a mesmerizing theatrical play for all to enjoy!It really is something difficult to convey to those that have not seen something like it, or studied ancient Greek and Roman plays that used similar techniques of masks in their performances. But Hotel Paradiso is a form of mimed storytelling at it’s best! As an audience member you can forget that the actors have been removed of the luxury of both speech AND facial expression to portray the different characteristics of the different characters.This type of acting has become a branch off of the genre of physical theatre – and it is a truly unique and magical play to experience.From funny, to sweet, to heartfelt – this is a theatre company to put on your wishlist! I recommend trying to view Hotel Paradiso before the end of the Fringe Festival, or even in the company’s next performing spot somewhere in Europe!(Photographs from previous performances – courtesy of the Familie Floz production company website page and Gabriele Zucca.)