The Hotel

If any Fringe performer from the last decade is to go down in the annals of the Festival's history, it's Mark Watson. His electric stand-up shows migh...

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Published 06 August 2009

If any Fringe performer from the last decade is to go down in the annals of the Festival's history, it's Mark Watson. His electric stand-up shows might not veer too far off the standard format, but his first 24 hour extravaganza in 2005 (the last of which will take place this year) set a new bar for Fringe comedy that newer upstarts are still trying to match. Now, he's extending his inventiveness to the realm of theatre in a site-specific production, The Hotel.

The latest of many comedy/theatre crossovers, The Hotel's cast of comedians make up the fictional establishment's staff, while the audience become hotel guests. They're taken through 10 rooms, each of which is home to various caricatures associated with the hospitality industry: from over-zealous fitness instructors and excessively bureaucratic admin officers to a bar and restaurant with questionable waiting staff.

Written and directed by Watson, The Hotel's Fawlty Towers-meets-interactive art premise seems designed to be at once engaging and light-hearted, yet technically challenging. And if it delivers on its potential to be one of 2009's highlights, the if.comedy award-winner could have another triumph on his hands.