|The Last Hotel trailer|
PORTER: Silent Role
An English couple and an Irish woman meet at a hotel. Pensioners arrive with their families. The husband asks himself – how many of them would choose to die. The Irish woman wants to know when they’re going to rehearse – because a rehearsal was an important part of the service the husband and wife were offering. The husband talks about what he'll build when they return home to England. They rehearse the woman’s suicide. They will use pills and gas. This is the moment. Suddenly the husband and wife are on a car ferry – the hotel still visible in the distance. The wife is left alone and she calls out to the Universe for some resolution – some peace. She’ll have to live with the voices of many dead people in a house built from their souls. There is no rest for the Irish woman. Though now dead – she still hurts.
An abandoned hotel function room. The hotel porter is cleaning.
An English couple stand listening to an excited Irish woman in the hotel car park.
They enter the hotel and meet the porter — the hotel’s only worker. It seems the room isn’t ready. It needs cleaning.
They go to the bar. The husband and the Irish woman talk about how they first met.
The Irish woman had her own PR company and was doing publicity for a newly built housing estate when she met him at a reception for the estate’s opening. He was one of the engineers who fitted the houses with gas. At the reception the woman had a small breakdown.
Her room is ready. She enters the room, unpacks — and dresses in a new outfit. This will be the place.
Downstairs in the bar the husband and wife sit with their drinks and watch the carvery being set up. Pensioners are arriving with their families. The husband asks himself — how many of them would choose to die.
His wife goes for a walk in the hotel grounds. She is unsure of how she has got to where she is in her life — how she grew into this person, married this man — found herself today at this hotel. She longs to be kissed. To be loved again.
The Irish woman is down from her room. She talks to the husband about her home life. He eats a terrible lunch.
The wife returns. The Irish woman wants to know when they are going to rehearse — because a rehearsal was an important part of the service the husband and wife were offering.
In detail the husband talks about the kitchen extension he is going to build when they return home to England.
His wife throws up.
The three of them go upstairs to the room and rehearse the woman’s suicide. They’re to assist her. They will use pills and gas.
The husband and wife come back downstairs. He is shaken and needs to drink. His wife doesn’t think she can go through with it. He blames her for their suburban deathly existence.
She leaves him and is met by the Irish woman — who has transformed again.
The Irish woman brings the wife back upstairs and gives her a makeover as she explains what has happened to her life in the last five years. The wife speaks of her relationship with her husband.
Downstairs — and the husband is dreaming of a further extension — perhaps a building that can be developed — they have the space in their garden. There are other customers who will pay to die like this woman.
Dressed identically, the two women come back downstairs.
It seems the Irish woman is not ready to go through with their plan. The two women have bonded in some way.
The husband seethes.
There is karaoke and he performs bullishly.
The Irish woman performs as desperate phone messages from her husband and children are heard. Her world collapses once more.
The porter isolates the wife and kisses her. Her husband sees this and rescues her.
The three are pulled back into the room upstairs and this is the moment they have rehearsed for.
Suddenly the husband and wife are on a car ferry — the hotel still visible in the distance. The wife is left alone and she calls out to the Universe for some resolution — some peace. She will have to live with the voices of many dead people in a house built from their souls. There is no rest for the Irish woman — though now dead — she still hurts.
As they sing — their words entwine.
The hotel porter clears and cleans the dance floor — as the music swallows everything.
The Last Hotel
From The Irish Times
Watch the video
with excerpts of The Last Hotel
and observations by librettist and composer