The Hotel in Amsterdam


Sixties somethings strut their stuff:
With Jaggeresque flourishes and Twiggy bobs, the revival of Osborne's 1968 play is a bilious triumph

The Guardian (The Observer)
Susannah Clapp
September 21, 2003

"...In the performance of his life, Tom Hollander relishes the part of a scriptwriter afloat on whisky, bile and his own loquaciousness. He is like a fluent Mick Jagger: short, slack-jawed, snarling, unstoppable..."
Full Review

Theatre: Charming, funny... and totally vile
The Independent on Sunday 
by Kate Bassett
Sep 21, 2003  

“Michael Grandage's master plan as the Donmar's artistic director has been to bring overlooked modern classics to our attention. This has paid off at last, quite brilliantly, with A Hotel in Amsterdam. This long- forgotten 1968 play by John Osborne comes across as a small but perfectly crafted gem in Robin Lefevre's superb revival.”
Full Review

Theatre: Off-West End
Time Out, Pg. 152 153
November 12, 2003
…Hollander brilliantly plays Osborne's alter-ego Laurie, rolling diatribes off his tongue, lashing out at his mother, his relations, holidays and homosexuals. But the achievement of Lefevre's exceptional production is that he makes it less of a one-man show by subtly revealing the fissures and strains within the characters' relationships. The expression on the face of Margaret (Harker) as she listens to her husband's rage speaks volumes. The plot is slight three well-heeled couples arrive in a hotel for a weekend in Amsterdam, guiltily escaping KL, a mysterious figure in all their lives and culminates in a badly handled bombshell, but there's a perverse pleasure to be had in the vitality of Osborne's bilious language….

Osborne's play is all talk and no action
Morning Star
September 25, 2003
By Robert Tanitch
…The play is a conversation piece dominated by the rhetoric, invective, vulgarity and ranting of Laurie, a second-rate film writer.He is a pest of the first order. "I think people who need people are the ghastliest in the world, " he says. But where would he be without an audience?He loves the sound of his own voice and plays to a gallery of fast-diminishing friends. He performs as much for his own smug benefit as anybody else's. Booze and bitch get him through the day. Laurie is contemptuous of his wife's weepy sister, whom he nominates for the "golden sanitary towel award."

He sneers at his working-class background and loathes his mother...Laurie is a portrait of [playwright] Osborne,  his self-loathing and Tom Hollander, drawling away, has a ball. He is particularly amusing when he is speaking in cod-Italian and writing a pastiche of the sort of boring letter Osborne used to receive from his own family  He also tells a very funny story about a nun in a closed order, which lots of people will be repeating…But Laurie - in Hollander 's extrovert performance - is always totally aware that he is a crushing bore and reserves his keenest contempt for himself…

Time Out
September 24, 2003
Pg. 160
…It's still early days in Michael Grandage's artistic directorship of the Donmar Warehouse, but it's already clear that he does like plays with a flashy central role for a male actor….now it's the turn of Tom Hollander who brilliantly plays John Osborne's alter ego, Laurie, in a play which has had very few revivals since it was first staged in 1968…Laurie is a writer of some repute, whose rants are fuelled both by his self-hatred and several bottles of whisky….Nobody is remotely sympathetic, certainly not Laurie; still, there's a perverse pleasure to be had in the vitality of Osborne's bilious language even when it is most repellent.

BBC Film & Drama
Television Version
Reviewed for by Michelle Turkie

“Nowhere is this more apparent than in Tom Hollander's perceptive performance as Laurie, a typically garrulous and argumentative Osborne hero. Hollander plays Laurie as essentially lost; his mockery of class and success hides an emptiness that gives his whining tirades an undercurrent of poignancy.”
Full Review


A play by John Osborne
Robin Lefevre, Director
Donmar Warehouse
Sept. 17, – Nov. 15, 2003

Laurie: Tom Hollander
Annie: Olivia Williams
Margaret: Susannah Harker
Amy: Selina Griffiths
Dan: Adrian Bower
Gus: Anthony Calf
Gillian: Laura Howard
Porter: Alex Beckett
Waiter: Darri Ingolfsson

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