The Basement, Auckland

28/05/2013 - 01/06/2013

Production Details

GRAVITY HOTEL is a self styled anti-musical that brings together physical theatre, imagery and music in an intriguing cabaret-like ride. Our heroine wakes up soaked to the bone and trapped in an old dilapidated hotel. Perplexing and absurd guests and staff inhabit a world under the dark power of an all-seeing MC. In order to leave, our heroine must find a way to piece together her story and confront this malevolent force. Part dream, part nightmare, GRAVITY HOTEL is a dark comedic journey full of suspense through one dark night of the soul. Check in at your peril.

Devised by a knock out cast of performers with original live music by Sally Stockwell, and fresh from Red Leap Theatre’s ‘Short Works,’ GRAVITY HOTEL promises to take you on a journey into the unknown.

Tuesday 28th May – 8pm
Wednesday 29th May – 8pm
Thursday 30th May – 8pm, 10pm
Friday 31st May – 8pm, 10pm
Saturday 1st June – 8pm

$24 – Standard
$19 – Student 

Mass Appeal

Review by Matt Baker 30th May 2013

The less said about Gravity Hotel, the better. I say this, not in regards to the incredibly high quality of the work, but of its journey, as it is one that simply must be experienced as opposed to explained. Very rarely does an audience remain seated post show in huddled discussion about the events they’ve just witnessed, but such was the case on the opening night of this unparalleled production. 

Actress Julia Croft arrives, post trauma, at the titular hotel, manned by the ‘Triplets of Bellevue’ style singing staff, consisting of Renee Lyons, Kate Bartlett, and Lisa Greenfield, as maid, cook, and bellhop respectively. Croft is a remarkably watchable actress, which works in her favour as we experience the oddities of the hotel as she does, with minimal dialogue, but a great amount of internal and external drive to support her. [More


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An exceptional piece of theatre which will travel the world

Review by Johnny Givins 29th May 2013

Sally Stockwell triumphantly roars into the theatre with a new vision, creative imagination and live music.  Gravity Hotel is an extraordinary piece of theatre.  It combines the traditions of clown, cabaret, and musical in a surreal landscape of the heart of a woman at peril. 

The heroine (Julia Croft) – wet, exhausted and in turmoil – enters into an imaginative hotel where three staff members guide her through the night. Truthful, fragile and untethered, Julia Croft is our mirror as she experiences the world of Gravity Hotel. 

Each of the staff is an individual creation firmly rooted in the tradition of modern clown.  They all have heart-breaking stories, glimpsed then lost and reappearing, to add to the intrigue of the dream. 

Renee Lyons is the maid with a damning secret; the Scottish working class girl with an accent and attitude which takes me back to Cowdenbeath.  Lisa Greenfield is the Italian Catholic wife forever searching for her lost Basalio and talking to God.  Kate Bartlett is the Bus Boy wailing for his lost love, even in suitcases.  They are all high quality performances, illustrating actors’ craft and skill.

The core of the show is Sally Stockwell’s ogre, who has her back to the audience most of the show.  The figure has menace, control and a real foreboding of doom. 

Gravity Hotel links us with the deep psyche of our innermost dreams in a profound way.  It is like a nightmare with moments of clarity.  There are fragments of images and sound, maybe things you have experienced, or maybe just flashes of pictures, people and places.  They hurl themselves at you at 4 o’clock in the morning and somehow make sense. 

Sally Stockwell, who directed the show, also composed the music. This is a live musical with songs from a variety of genres.  She takes the lead vocal with a voice of mercury and a glow of kauri gum, often like a smooth, cool and very sexy cabaret singer. The other cast members are sort of backup singers as they fulfil the actions of the scenes with precision. 

Robin Kelly and Jonathan Burgess play live piano and double bass to skilfully augment the soundscape. This is the sort of show you want to leave the theatre and buy the sound track for.  Songs such as ‘Alchemy of Life’, ‘In the Sun’, and ‘Story Song’ are unique but with tinges of future nostalgia.  

I am sure this is show will grow and develop in the future as it gains more resources. Sally Stockwell has been creating Gravity Hotel for some time.  It has been a long road of group devising, musical composition, creative workshops and experimentation, both here and in Europe – and it shows. It is an exceptional piece of theatre which will travel the world.


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