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Alfian Sa’at & Marcia Vanderstraaten


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By Alfian Sa’at & Marcia Vanderstraaten

An immersive, multi-generational epic, HOTEL explores the notions of empire, nationhood, migration and identity against the backdrop of a shrinking world.

Format: Paperback
Pages: 214


A hotel in Singapore is opened at the turn of the century, when the island is still a jewel in the crown of the British Empire. Each day, new faces appear and swiftly disappear – guests and staff alike.

Every ten years, we check in to meet the hotel’s residents: a Cantonese nanny, an Indian spiritualist, a Malay film star, Japanese soldiers, transgender sex workers, wedding guests, suspected terrorists, and more. They live out the pivotal moments in their personal lives, as empires die and new ones are born from their ashes.

Even though the chambermaids clean up after them, readying the room for the next guests, traces of the past persist, and time reveals its cyclical nature. Ghosts communicate with the living, doubles are separated by decades, and a single moment of decision haunts the generations that come after.

Spanning a century and performed over close to five hours in nine languages, this ground-breaking theatrical event highlights the eclectic energies born from the collisions between the old and the new, East and West, tradition and modernity.