Claire Sullivan loves dogs, and who doesn’t? They’re pure of heart, full of energy and easy to adore. In I Wish I Owned A Hotel For Dogs, Sullivan has created a show that embodies all of these qualities. It’s weird and fast-paced and heartfelt and you won’t see anything else like it this festival.
I Wish I Owned A Hotel For Dogs contains elements of so many things – storytelling, poetry, good exercise regimes, Crufts – and pounces between them at the pace of an overexcited pupper. You’re never in one section for long and nothing outstays its welcome.
From the moment you enter the venue, Sullivan draws you in with the weird physicality of her “pre-show” stretches. Her use of Belleview’s unconventional space is wonderful, helping to differentiate between different sections of the show. Sullivan’s clowning background with PO PO MO CO really shines through when she’s interacting with the audience. All the moments of participation are welcoming and serve to bring the audience together.
The tone of the show is hectic and messy and over-the-top, yet every individual piece feels like a perfectly crafted chunk of ridiculousness. Sullivan’s comedic style is absurd, feminist and incredibly positive. Buried within the glitter and fur are deeper thoughts about what it means to navigate the world as a female – small bursts of truth before you’re whisked away, back to the realm of the bizarre.
Sullivan attacks this show with such frenetic energy, you walk out absolutely buzzing, like you’ve had maybe one more coffee than is advisable. I Wish I Owned A Hotel For Dogs is unabashedly silly and a must-see for lovers of dogs and nonsense. It’s the perfect way to kick off a night of festival going.
Claire Sullivan – I Wish I Owned A Hotel For Dogs is on at Belleview until Saturday April 8