HOTEL H.****

The action takes place in a hotel – an (un-)temporary, ephemeral and crime-prone place. Into this mysterious space the authors write the convention of a detective story, subjecting the motif of a woman-victim to a perverse analysis. “Hotel H.****” is a performance inspired by, among others, the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, the paintings of Edward Hopper and the work of Peter Handke. In it, the creators engage in a dialogue with the infamous visual legacy of male gaze, which objectifies, sec*ualises and/or uses women as a tool for the construction of male characters’ superiority. As a result, the female body portrayed through the male gaze means more to viewers than the actual actions, goals and adventures of the female characters. In the performance “Hotel H.****”, the authors tackle this theme with a sense of humour, playing with form and constant deconstruction. The spectator is led from room to room to browse through the metamorphoses of the infinite roles carried out by the four female performers: detectives, victimes, murderers…

The performance was created as part of the OFF Polska programme organised by the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute. Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Director: Dominika Knapik
Choreography: Dominika Knapik & Hertz Haus
Script and dramaturgy: Patrycja Kowańska
Music: Qba Janicki
Lighting: Krystian Koźbiał
Performed by: Hertz Haus (Magdalena Kowala, Natalia Murawska, Joanna Woźna, Anka Zglenicka)

Premiere: 26 August 2023 at the Zakład Kulturalny in Gdańsk.

Promotional photos: Anna Zglenicka
Photos from the show: Kamil Budrewicz

Genre: stage crime, dance drama, crime comedy, conceptual thriller, horror
Country: Poland
Duration: 60 min.
Style: gripping, surreal, psychological, grotesque, enigmatic, neo noir, captivating
Plot: small town, serial murderer, surrealism, murder, supernatural, detective/ka, investigation, nightmare, hallucination, secret, daredevil, mysterious villain, who did it, sexuality, under the surface
Location: Poland
Rating: ****


The intriguing performance by the Gdansk-based group is an absorbing stage detective story and at the same time an accurate, brilliant, at times perverse and funny reflection on how the male eye looks at a woman, especially one who is reduced to the role of victim. Kowańska deconstructs several famous cinematic death scenes, and the four female performers move seamlessly from non-obvious paraphrases of cinematic images, to parodying alluring poses, to dynamic group choreographies to thrilling dirty, glitchy techno.


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