The Receptionists @ Summerhall Online (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021) Review

Qualities of good customer service? Attentiveness? Hospitality? Responsiveness? Reliability? Resourcefulness? Do you agree? I’m sure we all have our own ideas as to what this entails, these interactions shaping our day to day. Observing this fascinating facet of modern society, Kallo Collective, in association with From Start to Finnish– a showcase of Finnish performance art, present The Receptionists, a humorous take on this.

Star Hotel – supposedly rated a full five star rating is where we’re given backstage, behind the scenes access to, our two hosts, Inga and Kristina ready to welcome guests into this seemingly reputable hotel, or at least that’s what we’re led to believe. The show’s minimal front desk focal point, consisting of stationary, a bowl of fruit, a bell and telephone beautifully drawing on this assumption. The cast’s ability however to completely turn this assumption on its head incredibly funny to watch.

What ensues is an hour of pure slapstick, Inga Björnand Kristiina Tammisalo able to find the humour in the minute details of customer service, whether it be through them micromanaging each other, to unintentionally missing phone calls, to not not knowing how to respond to customers, to incorrectly folding towels in the laundry room, The Receptionists is ever moving, there’s always something happening, considering the duo spend more time undoing their own mistakes and not at all attending to customers, making the show even funnier.

The Receptionists celebrates awkwardness, we witness the quieter moments in between customers visiting the hotel, this automatically lending itself to comedic circumstances. The cast take the clowning form and wonderfully adapt it to a circa 1970s type sitcom-esque environment, the two reminiscent of air hostesses in their bright blue waistcoats and skirts, accessorised with a bright orange scarf, the boldness of colour adding to the show’s quirky nature.

There’s a comfort to watching things continually going wrong, as we generally tend to celebrate perfection, the show capitalising on this. Soundtracked by a bossanova/hotel background music, this continues to contribute to the show’s humour and ease.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

The Receptionists is currently being shown on demand as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe Festival programme until Monday 30th August 2021. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop