I have to admit that my highlight of the week was seeing a show that I hardly knew anything about at Curve theatre in Leicester. As you've probably guessed from the title, the show was called 'Hotel Paradiso' and it was only stopping in the UK for three nights - so it's a good thing I was able to catch it when I did. However, before I tell you all about the show, let me tell you about its co-producers; Familie Flöz.
Familie Flöz can trace their roots all the way back to the main coal-mining area of Germany, the Ruhrgebiet. The 'Flöz', the German world for 'seam', is a layer in the earth and it gave the company's first place its title; 'Family Flöz Reaches Daylight' (1996). A few years later the company started using 'Familie Floz' as its name and they gradually expanded into an international pool of actors, mask-builders, directors, producers, musicians, set-designers, light-designers and artists. That's 'Familie Flöz' in a nutshell.
Now, on to the show itself.
First and foremost, I had such an excellent seat - right in the middle of the first row (thankfully the show took place in the studio so I didn't spend the whole time looking up at the action), which was exciting and intimidating at the same time because I was dreading any kind of attempts by the actors to engage the audience. Yes, contrary to popular belief, I am shy!
I had no idea of what to expect before I saw the show, Curve's website didn't say too much, but I think that's a good thing otherwise it might have given some of the best elements of the show away. For example, the characters convey everything from happiness, disappointment, confusion, annoyance and a whole host of other feelings, without actually uttering a single word. In addition, each character had its own mask and it was quite remarkable just how many emotions can be conveyed to the audience by tilting the mask in different ways, by using expressive body language and without saying a word. I was amazed! Finally, I would say that there were over ten characters, all brought to life by four talented (and good looking!) actors. To say that they did a good job is such an understatement, they were fantastic.
I am being completely honest when I say that I didn't think I would enjoy the show half as much as I did and, although my initial motivation to see the show was so that I had something completely different to write about, I'm so glad I went to see it. When I tried telling people about how good the show was, they don't really believe me, but I'm not even joking. Seriously, if you ever have the opportunity to see anything by these guys, go and see it - you won't regret it!
That's one of the things I love about Curve, it's so diverse in its offering and visitors have the chance to see shows that they might not have the opportunity to see otherwise. It's such a huge asset to Leicester!
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