Fringe 2016 – Hotel Tokyo – Gluttony – The Octagon – 2K

By Tom Eckert

Hotel Tokyo


Hotel Tokyo are giving nothing away with their title or description and so you are left to draw your own conclusions before walking into The Octagon.

However, upon taking your seat and letting your eyes wander over the Pokémon-onesie clad cast bounding around the edge taking selfie’s with the audience decked out in Harajuku-esque makeup and wigs you sort of start to have a good idea.

First and foremost, Cup O’ Tea Productions and Trucked Up Entertainment have some excellent performers. Performing timeless circus and burlesque including silks, fire dancing and a python they manage to accomplish what these acts typically do, holding the audience awe struck by the power and finesse that the human body is capable of.

Unfortunately, impressive as much of it is, this is where the merit of the show ends. The premise of Hotel Tokyo is a Japan-ification of the classic circus variety show. And whilst the concept is potentially sound the execution unfortunately falls flat. Rather than adding an exciting or exotic element to the feats being performed, it instead distracts from them.

The impression that the audience is left with is that this show was concocted by a fan of weekend anime who, having seen his drunken mate’s photos from their recent trip to Japan thought “that looks cool, we could totally do that.”

With flashy special effects and kitschy costumes the show rings a little to earnest for genuine irony. Making a self-referential note that there are in fact no Japanese members of the cast (or anyone not Caucasian for that matter) Hotel Tokyo does what Caucasians do best; take a culture and in utilising it for their own ends, strip it of all but the superficial aesthetic elements.

Hotel Tokyo is every Australian who ever visited Tokyo, got drunk and ran through Shinjuku yelling “Sugoi”, “Kawaii” and “Yosh.”

Kryztoff Rating: 2K


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