Hotel Zero Control

Theatre production in an abandoned hotel

Written by: Manah Depauw & Marijs Boulogne
Direction: Marijs Boulogne
Performed by: Manah Depauw, Sarah Antoine, Yannick Duret, Florane Veran, PascalePetralia, Jim Denley and Marijs Boulogne
Dramaturgy by: Bart Capelle
Stagecraft by: Michael Smets
Poster design by: Alice Lorenzi

Hotel Zero Control has been produced with the financial support of Stad Oostende/ Stukprijs 2002 and with the support of the Flemish Community.

Marijs Boulogne collaborated with Enrique Vargas as his trainee in the making of the Labyrinth performance in 2002, which was later presented at the Timefestival 2003 in Ghent. Inspired by this experience, she set out to make her own labyrinth… After performance Endless Medication had won the Stuk/Theater aan Zee prize in 2002, the TAZ (Theater aan Zee) in Oostende offered Marijs Boulogne a creative residence and invited her to create a second performance in 2003.

The text used for Hotel Zero Control came out of a cluster of texts written by Manah Depauw and Marijs Boulogne and was later published in Etcetera magazine. During 3 weeks, they inhabited an abandoned art deco hotel, in the city of Oostend on the Belgian coast, with actresses from Manah Depauw's former class of the conservatory in Liège, and Jim Denley, an Australian composer.

Hotel Zero Control is a quest for a femininely erotic language and for the zero degree of pleasure and repulsion. It explores the female orgasm in a universe that keeps escaping the laws of reality, language and storytelling. It is an expedition towards satisfaction through a washing with stories in a bathtub full of desires. 

On the wasteland beyond decency Buelens Paulina discovered a hotel. In this haven she has invited her friends to jubilee together, searching for the ultimate self-gratification. Wearing their most intimate desires and fears as a package of Semtex on their bellies, they present you with their last story, which will make you simultaneously sick, orgasmic and sleepy.
There is a staircase that leads to 24 rooms. The rooms are big and small, clean and moldy, with beautiful hangings and thick carpets. Above: a dead pigeon, empty rooms, a person sleeping covered with an old curtain. Then, in another passage, a woman is plucking and disembowelling a slaughtered pigeon. A musician plays self-made music, for and with the seagulls screaming outside. He sits high and close to the roof. In the bathroom a moaning and groaning woman is kneading lots of dough. In another room with green flowers on the wallpaper a woman is quiet. Snails slide all over the walls, their slime trails run as thick silver stripes on the green carpet, over her cheek, in her hair. In the other wing of the hotel, all rotten, a big soft thick mold rests on the floor instead of the carpet and the walls are broken. There is a woman on the wooden floor plastering her belly with petals and found items, bones, shells and cigarette butts. In the second lobby two steaming baths are ready; the hotel women have already arrived, bringing plenty of pieces of dough, or blood. They lay down in the bath and wash themselves. Then together they begin to tell a story (…)

Performance dates
29-31 July 2003 - abandoned hotel, Theater aan Zee, Ostend, Belgium
1-3 August 2003 - abandoned hotel, Theater aan Zee, Ostend, Belgium

Reviews / Documents / Technical Rider / Hi-res photos


  • 1_hotel zero control_rehearsal
  • 2_hotel zero control_rehearsal
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  • 4_hotel zero control_rehearsal
  • 5_hotel zero control_drawing by alice lorenzi
  • 6_Hotel_Zero_Control_poster
  • 7_Hotel.Zero.Control_Flyer_by.Alice.Lorenzi