Heartbreak Hotel, The Jetty, North Greenwich, theatre review: Not exactly a heartfelt experience

An engaging piece made frustrating by a lack of resolution

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The Independent Culture

The temporary jetty at Greenwich peninsula, where last year The Boy Who Climbed out of his Face was staged, now hosts a production by new theatre company Zebedee, set in a purpose-built, rundown hotel where audiences are invited to join the "therapeutic" A.C.H.E programme.

We learn A.C.H.E stands for "achieving creative heartfelt experiences"; surely that could be applied to any piece of ambitious theatre? But sadly my experience wasn't of truly heartfelt anything.

Large audience groups are shuffled between several hotel rooms where actors play out the same theatrical loop again and again. This setup allows for maximum audience numbers within a given time slot but also makes it necessary not to have a clear beginning or end to the proceedings.

The scenes are engaging – a dominatrix with a married man, a camp caretaker who regales us with tales of broken relationships, a couple struggling to reconnect, but they all seem to set up the action and then stop. When we were shuffled to the roof terrace after about 45 minutes many of us muttered, ‘surely it's not over?’ But it was.

Maybe the lack of resolution was a deliberate message about how sometimes relationships end without any real explanation? Or maybe they just gave up on trying to make it work.

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