Hotel Medea

Hotel Medea is an act of resistance. It stands in direct opposition and in defiance of the aggressive mechanism of commodification of each and every human experience - the global monster that thrives on breaking our spirits, that wants to domesticate us and enslave us into experiencing art on its own terms, that wants to tell us that theatre starts at 8pm and can be preceded by a ‘pre-show dinner’ and followed by an 'after-show drink', that wants to tell us that the most viable way to make performance is to produce a one-man show for a 2500 strong seated audience. We defy these conditions to embrace the arbitrary meeting and the chance encounters where people unknown to one another live together for one night.

Hotel Medea is a trilogy based on the myth of Medea - a tale of revenge and ambition and love. The chapters are titled Zero Hour Market, Drylands and Feast of Dawn. The experience lasts from midnight to dawn and offers a ‘dramaturgy of participation’ to the audience member which involves; risk, intimacy and collective action in a way which sets out to re-write the ‘unspoken contract’ with the audience not as consumers, but as collaborators.

​Between 2009 and 2012 Hotel Medea received numerous awards and was the highest rated event in the Edinburgh Fringe 2011 by both press and audiences. In the UK, the trilogy was performed at the Arcola Theatre (2009), Trinity Buoy Wharf as part of LIFT Festival (2010), Summerhall Edinburgh (2011) and Hayward Gallery (2012). In Brazil, Hotel Medea toured Rio de Janeiro as part of TEMPO Festival and Brasilia at the Caixa Cultural Centre.

Binaural Dinner Date

Part interactive performance, part dating agency, Binaural Dinner Date invites genuine applications from people looking for love, or couples who simply want a very different dating experience. The couples are hosted by a live waiter/DJ and by a binaural audio feed. Over the course of the evening the participants are invited to engage with each other, share secrets, observe other dramas unfold, and play games that push social expectations and ‘acceptable’ table talk topics.


Phones started to ring as visitors walked past. Visitors could pick up the phones to interact with one of three fictional Brazilian artists.

Humble Market

An interactive exhibition that combines art, performance and technology in three installations.


ZU-UK want to make art for people who don’t think it’s for them in spaces art does not usually inhabit

Jorge Lopes Ramos, Executive Director

Formerly known as Zecora Ura and Para-Active, ZU-UK have been making live art works since 2001. We have an international reputation for creating high quality, critically acclaimed socially engaged performances and digital artworks that put the audience at the centre of the experience.

ZU-UK believes that when individuals are not underestimated, the strength of the collective experience builds thoughtful, playful and engaged communities. The more fractured the world becomes, the more out of touch we are with the rituals that unite us with our sense of self, and the essential desire to connect meaningfully. Therefore, ZU-UK seek to design secular contemporary rituals as an invitation to ease loneliness and make communities out of our audiences.

Art must not remain confined to traditional venues if it is to reach as diverse an audience as possible

Persis Jadé Maravala, Artistic Director

We work with whatever is at the company’s disposal to create extraordinary experiences for our audiences. ZU-UK don’t limit ourselves to particular artistic disciplines as we believe the form should suit the idea, and not the other way round. Therefore the form our work takes will change depending on each new artistic proposition.

Our six hour, overnight performance Hotel Medea (2009-2012) is considered a pioneer of what is today referred to as ‘immersive theatre’. ZU-UK’s work on the Dramaturgy of Participation has been widely written about and forms the basis for the company’s approach to audience experience.

We believe artists should champion their practice as a vital contributor to political discourse and cultural debate. ZU-UK have a rich history of cross-disciplinary collaboration which enables us to constantly questions our assumptions about art and art-making. This approach also allows us to constantly experiment with new methods of producing live art works and of finding different ways of articulating our practice to new communities.

Selected Recent Press

Photodiary: A week with Artistic Directors Jorge Lopes Ramos and Persis Jade Maravala

ZU-UK’s Director’s on Artistic Leadership Post-Brexit

Towards a Dramaturgy of Participation

ZU-UK launches new MA Programme

DRIFT International Residency


Economies of Experience

Brazil fabrika@gargarullo.com

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Miguel Pereira–RJ
CEP 26.900-000
United Kingdom +44 797 335 3384

GAS Station
Gainsborough Learning Centre.
1 Hamilton Road
London, E15 3AE UK
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