Hotel Halicarno: Prepare for an Ominously Entertaining Stay

Once again, the University Dramatic Society (UDS) have created an incredibly unique and original musical with Hotel Halicarno. Devious characters, an old hotel full of secrets and deep rivalry comes to head. This is a show unlike any other.

Hotel Halicarno is also kicking off the centenary year for the UDS. The UDS is based at the University of Western Australia has been running for 100 years, which is incredibly impressive considering it’s entirely run by the students.

“The Halicarno Hotel is its own microcosm, distinctly detached from the outside world that we know. This wallpaper-clad lodge that time forgot is home to many strange folks, be they staff or guests, but the relative tranquillity of the Halicarno is thrown out the window upon the sacking of manager Vincent Wesley. Tasked with finding a replacement, Wesley assesses the validity of two candidates: Alice Chapel and Marseille Ridley. Both candidates are in for a shock when Vincent reveals his pièce de resistance and in their pursuit of power, the three of them seek to expose the darkness that lies in their adversary’s lives.”


Hotel Halicarno
was odd, dark, and quite intriguing and not at all what I was expecting. Set in a very out of the way hotel, or so we can presume from the looks of the guest who arrive, that has fallen into disrepair. This leads to the firing of long-time manager Vincent, who is then in charge of naming his successor, which ignites a ferocious rivalry, turning the lives of the hotel employees upside down.

There were so many twists in the show: a time machine, clones, and the final moments of the ending. Hotel Halicarno was a very well put together show that ties together just enough of the loose ends to leave you wondering and wanting more. 

The set was unique and definitely used to its full potential; it created an extra depth to the performance that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. The elevator was very amusing, as were the other special effects used. Some of the singing and sound effects felt a little off at times, which was probably due to first night jitters, but just slightly distracted the audience’s suspension of disbelief.

The songs themselves were quite amusing and very catchy, I will probably have a couple stuck in my head for days, and the choreography was very well done. I loved the tango inspired dance between Bell and Alice, it was definitely my favourite. 

With book and lyrics by Harry Goodlet and Matthew Nixon, directed by Lucy Rossen, and music by Isaac Reynolds and Brock Stannard-Brown, Hotel Halicarno is one of a kind. A must see for any theatre lover. 

The show is being performed at UWA’s Dolphin Theatre at 7:30pm from the 10th to the 13th of May 2017. Tickets can be bought online on the ticketsWA website, on the UWA Oak Lawn, or at the door.

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About Mikaela Zarifis

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I live my life amongst the pages of books, with my head in the clouds, and a cup of tea by my side. Recent graduate of Curtin’s Professional Writing and Publishing course. Instagram: @mikaelazarifis