Cft 8 Hotel 447 X792 Px.

Pandora Colin  Ben Cura  Tory Kittles  Emma Paetz

8 Hotels

A new play by Nicholas Wright

Minerva Theatre


lago only suspected it. I know it.

1944. America. Celebrated actor, singer and political campaigner Paul Robeson – forever associated with ‘Ol’ Man River’ – is touring the country as the eponymous hero in Shakespeare’s Othello. His Desdemona is the brilliant young actress Uta Hagen. Her husband, the Broadway star José Ferrer, plays Iago.

All the actors are friends. But in mid-century American society, they are not all equals.

As the tour goes on, the boundaries between the onstage passions and their offstage lives begin to blur. Soon the chemistry between Robeson and Hagen and the rivalry between Robeson and Ferrer is every bit as dangerous as that between their famous characters. Revenge takes many forms and in post-war America it isn’t always purely personal – it can be disturbingly political too.

Nicholas Wright’s new play is based on true events involving some of the twentieth century’s most influential American artists. His original plays include Rattigan’s Nijinsky (Festival 2011) and, for the National Theatre, Mrs KleinVincent in Brixton (Olivier Award for Best New Play) and The Reporter, both directed by Richard Eyre.

Director Richard Eyre makes a welcome return to Chichester, following The Stepmother (2017). A former Director of the National Theatre, his recent films include King Lear and The Children Act.



Nicholas Wright’s compelling new play explores with great subtlety the complexities of an infernal triangle. Tory Kittles catches perfectly Robeson’s mix of charisma, courage and cowardice. The signal virtue of Wright’s play is that it explores not just the emotional intricacies of backstage life but also the racial divisions scarring the American nation.


Compelling. Joe, played masterfully by Ben Cura, is wonderful as the philanderer. Emma Paetz is marvellous as Uta. Peggy.. a strong performance from Pandora Colin. Director Richard Eyre has created an immensely strong, tight one act work that holds the audience gripped.


A deeply considered and emotionally compelling production by Richard Eyre. All three actors, along with Pandora Colin as the very English director of the Othello, excel at suggesting the future selves that these professionals will become, when famous. Rob Howell’s evocative design conjures up all the various bedrooms, while on either side very well chosen period-footage whizzes us between Indianapolis, Cleveland, Winnipeg et al. Elegantly provocative, alive with wiry delicacy, 8 Hotels cries out for a transfer.

The Independent

This series of passionate, funny, wry encounters in hotel rooms over the years raises a key question: what does it mean to be authentic, in love and in politics, as well as in art? Under Richard Eyre’s skilled direction, excellent performances deliver convincingly authentic characters.


A gripping piece of history. Under Richard Eyre's taut direction, we get a chain of brief scenes; some funny, some moving, some cracklingly tense. Despite the intimacy and speed of the play, you feel you've seen an epic.

Daily Mail

8 Hotels is intelligent entertainment that does what this kind of play does when it all works. It shows us an entirely authentic, fully realised world that is not ours - but in which we see our own. The principals in the ménage-a-trois are all excellent.

Broadway World

Cast & Creatives


Running Time
1 hour and 40 mins without an interval