There’s Barry with his chamois who loves to buff, and Brian in a chicken mask going to the dungeon room. Brenda roams the corridors holding her dead husband’s skull and Gary, a newly-wed petrol-head, keeps saying ‘oil.’ They, together with Barbara Backhander from Uganda (that’ll be me), comprise the guests at Hotel Yes Please, the sort of place you’d avoid if you had any choice of accommodation options. Jody Kamali is the ruffled, disarming Fernando, allocating our bedrooms and describing the assets at his ‘bad and brakfast’ establishment. There are echoes of Fawlty Towers and Alan Partridge in his Travel Tavern. It’s a simple premise that gives him freedom to mangle form and content with a wonderful combination of control and waywardness.

free online dating sites over 50 In a delightfully ramshackle performance, Kamali effortlessly conjures performance from the audience; even the slightly reticent Gary is soon saying ‘oil’ spontaneously.

While the hotel gags, visual and verbal, are good fun, and Jeff the Chef is a beautifully realised character, the show really takes off when Fernando introduces a ‘real’ actor, Steve, who runs the Murder Mystery. Steve tells us he is 37, Bristol based, with a very young baby at home. What’s he doing at a cheap hotel playing a violent third rate detective to five people for little money? Of course we’re all suspects but which one of us has killed the old lady at the kiddie’s party? Perhaps the bra on Gary’s head is a clue. A Darth Vader mask is produced as evidence purely because actor David Prowse comes from Bristol.

The theatrical interweaving of Kamali’s biography with this punchy detective is nicely played and yes, we do wonder why anyone would chose to do this for a living for ten years in a row. But I’m glad he does. As with the previous, less text-based show, Spectacular, Kamali is hugely inventive, warm and engaging. Hotel Yes Please deserves more guests, just watch out for Brian.


Photo by Lorna Jane Newman. 

Lisa Wolfe

Lisa Wolfe

Lisa Wolfe is a freelance theatre producer and project manager of contemporary small-scale work. Companies and people she has supported include: A&E Comedy, Three Score Dance, Pocket Epics, Jennifer Irons,Tim Crouch, Liz Aggiss, Sue MacLaine, Spymonkey and many more.
Lisa was Marketing Manager at Brighton Dome and Festival (1989-2001) and has also worked for South East Dance, Chichester Festival Theatre and Company of Angels. She is Marketing Manager for Carousel, learning-disability arts company.

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