This mime and mask show from Familie Flöz mixes Fawlty Towers and slapstick comedy with a hint of Jeunet and Caro’s Delicatessen to produce a continuously inventive piece of clowning with a stream of well-timed violence that would make Tom and Jerry proud.
Set in a run-down mountain top hotel, run with a rod of iron – or at least a well wielded cane – by the family matriarch, a lovelorn son, his ambitious sister; a dour chef and a kleptomaniac maid attempt to serve the needs of the trickle of guests.
The gags come thick and fast with pratfalls and double-takes and wince-inducing blows to hands, heads and shins. There are also moments of pathos as unrequited love, mourning and broken dreams undercut the fun. That the varieties of the character’s emotional states are so clear beneath the fixed expressions of the papier-mâché masks is one of the most impressive aspects of this show.
For the most part this is a beautifully paced piece of work. Beyond the timing of the individual gags the build of the various elements that go into the story works well and there’s a fine forty-five minutes of entertainment here. Unfortunately this is an hour long show.
There’s a feeling of filler coming in towards the end to bulk it up into the requisite hour long show with the addition of a subplot that never really goes anywhere. However, whilst your stay at Hotel Paradiso might be overlong, it’s still worth a postcard home.