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Five Star Review for Alcatraz

Alcatraz posterReview from The New Current www.thenewcurrent.com

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Published: August 11, 2010

Alcatraz portrays a woman who works in a hotel, recording conversations of previous guests of a particular room. Not a play for the simplest of folk, it follows the deep psychotic interactions that she shares with 4 guests in particular, ranging from an eccentric and elaborate graphic novelist, to a musician trying to get to grips with his own life and feelings. Featuring a modest set, the cast interact with it, manipulating and moving it with fluidity and grace between one another. The direction and writing is top notch, with each performer speaking and switching with precision and style.

The topics and themes covered within the piece are often deep, and at times quite depressing. The characters show infatuation with every day objects, thinking about them in finer details, such as shattering a ‘break glass’ sign to signal distress or help, and a whole larger concept behind it.

The lead character, the hotel worker, I interpreted to be a psychotic character, listing intricate details about the hotel room, and finding some comfort in the recordings of guests who have come and gone. One might argue that these are just fabrications of her own head, portraying her inner thoughts and feelings, but it’s something for the audience to work out for themselves.

In conclusion, this was a well devised piece of theatre, and something enjoyable away from the comedy that seems to dominate the Fringe.