A ‘disembodied’ voice directs the audience to take their seats and when seated they are presented with Claire Sullivan, the iceberg, melting on stage. This is particularly apt analogy for the rest of the show where Claire jumps, jogs and bounces around the room. Props surround her on the stage, including a long list of those that have been broken during her run undoubtedly due to her energetic performance. As the show goes on from quick changes to alarming fishing trips, she is having a great time and wants to take you along for the ride. She often moves so fast from idea to idea that the audience doesn’t always have time to catch up with the joke, which leads to some falling flat. Claire drives on, unperturbed by this and thoroughly enjoying herself at every junction. Her enthusiasm and pride in her show is infectious however, so she is easily forgiven for any fumbles whilst she is already speeding through her next idea.
Claire takes the human experience to weird and wonderful places. A pregnancy scare leads to the monthly ‘blood awards’ for whichever body part has bled the most. There is no way of telling where she will go next in this set and for those who prefer more traditional theatre this isn’t for them. Her impressions are the highlight of her show, encapsulating football fans, self-indulgent amateur performance poets, the rich, and dogs to name but a few. The dogs are part of an on-running dog show throughout her set with Claire playing all the dogs, including an extremely accurate portrayal of a pug.
I Wish I Owned a Hotel for Dogs is not quite stand up, not quite sketch and not quite spoken word. It blends elements of all three together for a madcap adventure for the audience. This show is sweet, funny, unexpected and absurd much like Claire herself.