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“Flee, Flee This Sad Hotel”: Tennessee Williams at the Langham Hotel and Pentameters Theatre

February 28, 2014 by in Reviews


Litro, February 28, 2014.

Tennessee Williams originally intended to title his memoirs with a stanza from an Anne Sexton poem. “Flee, Flee This Sad Hotel” was misquoted from “Flee on a Donkey”; Williams thought he’d snagged it from Rimbaud. They were finally published in 1975 as Memoirs, an uncompromising plumbing of decades of drug use, taboo sexuality, instutionalisation, grief, and hotel-hopping. Williams had apparently decided his life was “as much a merry tavern as a sad hotel”. But the five one-act Williams plays staged this month in London belong more to Sexton’s sad hotel—even her asylum—than to a Chaucerian inn or Williams’s later-life circuit of lavish hotels. Set in hotels and boarding houses, these five plays—The Magic Tower and The Strangest Kind of Romance at Pentameters Theatre andGreen EyesThe Pink Bedroom, and Sunburst by Defibrillator at The Langham Hotel—tear into the sadness, violence and queerness of these transitory homes and the strangers they bring together.

Read more at Litro.

Photograph by Simon Annand.

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