At the Sans Hotel is a psychological detective story, taking a closer look at indecision and loneliness. It has to do with a schizophrenic German women, yet the play is not about her. The show's creator, Nicola Gunn, spoke to Whatsonstage.com about the context of the story, and more importantly why you should come and see it.


Why I find it so difficult to respond to this topic.
It is not a topic I am fond of talking about.
I don't know why you should see it because you shouldn't do anything you don't want to do.
I wanted to make this show because I was interested to make it. It was important to me.
It took 5 years, from February 2005 to March 2010.
That's a lot of time not making the show. About 4 years and 9 months.
What did I do in all that time?

1. In February 2005, I read about a German Australian woman who was wrongfully imprisoned in a detention centre as an illegal immigrant because she was found wandering in the desert. I wondered what she was running from.

2. I participated against my nature in a “letting go” exercise. I was asked to write all my demons onto a piece of wood bark and then throw the bark into the river to watch my demons float away. My demons got snagged in a tree.

3. During the 2009 heatwave, I watched a lot of David Lynch films.

4. When Liv Ullmann's character had a nervous breakdown in the film Persona by Ingmar Bergman, she was sent away on holiday. I went back to university.

5. While I was out celebrating my 30th birthday, my house was burgled. Laptops, mobile phones and Josie's piggy bank were gone. The only things of value taken from my room were my passport and birth certificate.

6. A year later, I found my passport and birth certificate under my wardrobe where I had hidden them for safekeeping. I had nothing of value after all.

7. I decided the quality of my life would improve if only I were a little more French, like Sophie Calle. I started eating nutella from the jar and got fat.

8. I introduced myself to a Very Important Person. I wanted to explain why he should see At the Sans Hotel. He said, “I don't know who you are.” I said, “Of course you don't know who I am. We've never met. That's why I'm introducing myself to you.” He said, “You don't understand. I don't know who you are because you are not important. And because you are not important, you have to sell your own show. And because you have to sell your own show, I am not interested to know you.”

9. I wanted to make a show about a giant tortoise called Lonesome George. I clearly had writer's block.

You shouldn't do anything you don't want to do

At the Sans Hotell can be seen at the Assembly Hall from 4-28 August (excl 15) at 19.20.