'Hotel Medea' review or 'Who bought the marshmallows?'

'Hotel Medea', Zecora Ura
The Hayward Gallery, Saturday 21st July
Written for The Metro

Pulsing Brazillian dance-offs, feral rituals, gory murders and the chance to stay up all night: no wonder there's a massive buzz around 'Hotel Medea', the award-winning overnight show from Anglo-Brazilian company Zecora Ura, which is lurking in the shadows of the Hayward Gallery.

Following a much needed pep talk, we're plunged into the frenzied Battle of the Golden Fleece. As Jason competes for Medea's hand, he locks horns with beasts, battles with tribal henchman and, along with most of the cast, strips naked. Even the most reticent of souls is sucked into the madness, as we sweat, stomp and holler in unison.

But this is a production of memorable moments rather than awesome, gathering momentum. Director Jorge Lopes is constantly on hand and, although he's a great ring master, his presence makes it hard to get lost in the story. The space, too, feels a little contrived. There's no freedom to roam and there's too much 'safe' time as we're herded from room to room.

The atmosphere never disturbs as it might. Just as the show should be clouding over, as Medea prepares to unleash her revenge, the male spectators are decked in silly wigs. It makes us chuckle when we should be trembling.

The softer moments are the most powerful. Deep into the night we're coaxed into bed, hot chocolate and teddy bears at our sides. As Medea tenderly tucks us in, we are comforted by the very love that will soon turn brutal.


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