Review – Evening Standard

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/theatre/above-and-beyond-corinthia-hotel–theatre-review-8541774.html

“Are you filming a reality television show?” asked a bemused American guest as I waited anxiously for the lift in the five-star Corinthia Hotel, dressed in a bellhop’s jacket. I assured her that her stay wouldn’t be disturbed and that I was instead a participant — indeed, the protagonist — in this new piece of immersive one-on-one theatre from the impressive Look Left Look Right company.

LLLR are this year’s winners of the Corinthia’s Artist in Residence award and they have given themselves the not inconsiderable challenge of shepherding audience members, at precisely-timed seven-minute intervals, around a series of individual encounters in a fully-functioning hotel.

The concept alone is powerfully suggestive: as soon as I walked into the lobby, I began to wonder which, if any, of the guests were “real”.

As with all shows of this sort, such as the much-acclaimed You Me Bum Bum Train, much of the thrill lies in the element of surprise, so all I’ll say is that it was my first day of work at the Corinthia and events don’t always stay anchored in 2013.

Director Mimi Poskitt and writers Katie Lyons and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm certainly offer up experiences in some unexpected places but I felt LLLR’s very similar 2011 Edinburgh hit You Once Said Yes had more to offer. A couple of promising narrative through-lines would benefit from greater development.

I didn’t feel particularly chatty last night and, given that the onus is so much on us to generate interaction and respond to situations, I started to find the hurtling scenes something of a chore.

Come prepared to talk, walk fast — and fold napkins like a pro.