June 27, 2015 by Smock Alley
The Full Package Hotel
The Full Moon Hotel without a doubt captures the essence of theatre, and leaves an audience wanting more.This play draws you into a magical world full of folklore and myth, and then slaps reality in your face. By playing with parallel worlds you have created a world in which anything could unfold. I adored watching the transitions from real to surreal unfold in front of my eyes with such grace. The Gaiety School of Acting has out done itself and shown just how much care and hard work goes into showcasing its graduates. The Full Moon Hotel draws on everything that makes up theatre. The use of masks reminiscent of Greek Theatre, the wonderful ritual dance and musical elements which I found bore a strong resemblance to Vincent Woods ‘A Cry from Heaven’. Shakespeare makes an appearance with its lovely parallel with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Then the real beauty comes in the form of new contemporary writing by Philip Doherty. Doherty creates a wonderful contemporary setting with characters that capture the very essence of Ireland, and weave into the works characters from around the globe.
The Full Moon Hotel reminded me of the fast paced comedy play ‘The 39 Steps’ which uses its actors in multiple roles with fast paced costume changes and character changes all unfolding in fast motion in front of you. This play had an electrical presence and never slowed down, dishing out laugh after laugh while never losing sight of the story. The humour was dark in moments but it never dwelled on anything long enough to slow the momentum. The dark humour gave an insight into the characters on stage, and allowed us as an audience to find points of relation within ourselves making these characters feel so real.
The stage was elegantly designed and allowed the actors to move so freely around the space. What stood out was the attention to detail in the background and how it all fit in so neatly with the theme of the play. The “classy” hotel sign and the wonderful full moon kept a beautiful balance between the real world and the supernatural world. It kept us engaged as an audience on both aspects simultaneously.
Finally, you have the actors, who are without doubt the most talented bunch in the industry today. They pulled off a feat worthy of a world tour. The actors all had such belief in one another and the chemistry between all on stage was flawless. From the accent changes and the hard hitting emotions, to the constant delivery of clever one-liners was perfection. This play was a breath of fresh air from the numerous recycled plays performed by the big theatres, and I would encourage everyone to go see this masterpiece. When ever again a full moon appears in the sky I shall reminisce to the wonder I witnessed in Smock Alley Theatre on the 25th of June 2015.
Well done to all involved.