Reviewed by Paula Citron
At the Sans Hotel
Next Stage Theatre Company
Written and performed by Nicola Gunn, assisted by Rebecca Etchell
Factory Theatre, Jan. 5 to 16, 2011
At the Sans Hotel, written and performed by Nicola Gunn, comes to the Next Stage Theatre Festival from Melbourne, Australia.
As a country, just like others, just like our own, Australia has a mean streak, in this case, how it treats illegal immigrants by confining them in detention centres such as the Sans Hotel in the desert.
Gunn was inspired by Cornelia Rau, a German woman who was locked up for 18 months until she was discovered to be suffering from mental illness.
Because Gunn is a theatre artist, At the Sans Hotel does not follow a linear plot. She doesn’t tell the story of Cornelia Rau. Rather, she lets her imagination travel to the realm of shifting realities. It is a journey through a broken mind and a confused soul.
Her moving monologue begins with slides of people holding signs that say “See Me”, and this theme of humanity continues throughout.
Next Stage Theatre Festival continues at Factory Theatre until Jan. 16.