Hotel Paradiso ★★★ Underbelly Festival | Jul 17 - Aug 5, 2021


Hotel Paradiso is created by the Lost in Translation Circus company. The show is part of the Underbelly Festival which has now moved to a splendid new venue in a little “Garden of Eden” only a couple of hundred yards from Oxford Circus. In this hour-long show we are entertained by half a dozen acrobats, gymnasts, jugglers and trapeze artists, but there is an additional element. The show has a plot concerning the takeover of the titular hotel by a pair of scheming bankers and is aimed at children from five years-of-age as well as adults. Unfortunately, we felt the script wasn't well enough written to keep either group amused. There were very few real laughs. This threw the onus onto the performers to keep us entertained with daredevil feats of tumbling and derring-do. For much of the first half of the show the skills displayed were fairly basic, but to our great relief, things did improve significantly. A delightful trick culminated with the aerialist using the chandelier as a trapeze before there was some daring balancing on a dizzyingly high pile of chairs. Everyone's favourite act involved an inebriated woman trying to reach another bottle of champagne and fill her glass whilst cleverly twirling an increasing number of hula-hoops. One of the bankers was the strongman of the group; after a surprising transformation of the set, he became the thrower/catcher for a spectacular aerial act. By the end we felt that we'd had plenty of good fun and this Eden became at least a 'demi-Paradiso.'

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by The Other Richard.

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