[Find Some Room For Broken Hearted Lovers]
Take a stroll down Lonely Street to Heartbreak Hotel on the Q Theatre, the most recent artistic enterprise by Eleanor Bishop and Karin McCracken.
It’s arduous to know what to anticipate while you arrive on the Heartbreak Hotel. When our hotelier and host (Karin McCracken) comes on stage in a bedazzled lilac swimsuit, backed by a hemisphere of LED panels and grounded by Barbie pink carpet, we’re unsure if we’re about to look at a relationship present or be preached to by a love guru.
So, it’s greatest to set expectations apart as a result of the Heartbreak Hotel is a model new components for mending a damaged coronary heart and discovering love once more.
Off the bat, McCracken will get our blood flowing with just a few laughs. Her witty, deadpan humour by no means misses a beat as she lets us know the ins and outs of our keep right here; there shall be humour and heartache, however most significantly, the soundtrack to go together with it.
The night time’s first music is the present’s namesake, Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. Both music and vocals are carried out by McCraken, who artfully makes use of the synthesiser to decelerate and reverb this 50’s basic.
On paper, it shouldn’t work, however the unhurried rhythm encourages us to ponder the themes of distress and heartache embedded in what have been as soon as rock’n’roll lyrics. The subdued, emotional rave unfolding on stage finds a visible counterpart within the dynamic mild present enjoying within the background and seamlessly unites the complete set.
While we settle in for the night time, McCracken should journey by way of the perils of a damaged coronary heart. The path by way of heartbreak just isn’t linear. Our heroine should navigate ahead as they date new folks whereas additionally reconciling her previous relationship together with her ex-boyfriend of six years.
These scenes are enhanced by Simon Leary, who performs a carousel of characters as McCracken’s Tinder date, physician, greatest buddy, and ex-boyfriend. The pair have a fascinating chemistry throughout all situations; their portrayal of an anxious/avoidant relationship is especially notable in its realism, providing an eye-opening expertise for anybody who has ever discovered themselves trapped in the same dynamic.
Interspersed within the emotional journey are science classes exploring why heartbreak feels so bloody terrible. McCracken had the viewers howling together with her musical retelling of how, after a breakup, the hormones in our physique actually do their greatest to mess us up.
However, with all these parts circulating, Heartbreak Hotel bleeds on the edges. Leary is an electrical addition, however at instances his presence felt like a pressured try to present him extra stage time (the inclusion of Leary performing Elvis-esque dance strikes is considerably superfluous). With a hearty 90-minute run time the present’s construction turns into barely arrhythmic, needing to do extra to warrant a two-person forged. We ponder the potential for the present to evolve, contemplating the opportunity of a one-woman manufacturing or a extra profound exploration into the 2 sides of a relationship.
Nevertheless, put together to snort, cry, and be totally entertained on the Heartbreak Hotel; its music-comedy concoction is the proper treatment for a damaged coronary heart.
Heartbreak Hotel performs on the Q Theatre from the twenty eighth of November to the 2nd of December 2023.