UWA’s University Dramatic Society (UDS) present their latest original musical production, Hotel Halicano. A contemporary, two-act fanfare with book and lyrics by Harry Goodlet and Matthew Nixon, music by Isaac Reynolds and Brock Stannard-Brown, directed by Lucy Rossen. Hotel Halicano details the fallout following the firing of hotel manager Vincent Wesley, (Rupurt Williamson), and the absurd events that follow.
The show opens with a lively and upbeat number lead by Williamson, which introduces the eccentric characters boasting a myriad of accents and personalities within the Hotel. It’s difficult to pin-point where in time this story takes place; the mostly monochromatic retro-futuristic set gives few clues as to where or when this tale unfolds, but it is effective nonetheless, and emphasises that the message of Halicano is timeless. The design was functional, and was clever in its use of each piece to suggest different locations.
The energetic and bustling opening takes a sinister turn with the main antagonist, Marseille Ridley (Alex Crouch), the strongest presence on stage. In “It’s All Yours”, one of the darker numbers which he leads, the writing is subtle, insightful, and not without laughs. Comic relief comes from the bizarre comments of hotel worker Gumboot (George Samios). The dialogue never fails to celebrate all the eccentricities of the lead characters and ensemble. Emily Gale plays the unorthodox Alice Chapel, matched perfectly by Olivia Everett’s performance as the hotel worker Belle. The two perform a wonderful and somewhat sinister duet, and their developing relationship is a definite highlight of the show. In addition to this, their vocals were the stand-outs in the performance. The voices of the chorus/hotel staff worked well as a collective, and their onstage banter was charming. Coupled with low-key but delightful piano instrumentals, the soundtrack carried the show incredibly well. If delightful chaos orchestrated to lively instrumentals sounds like your thing, I would highly recommend you check in at the Hotel Halicano.
Words by Sophie Minissale
Hotel Halicano runs from 10-13 May 2017 at the Dolphin Theatre