The delightful West End Whingers (the delightful part is supposition, as I’ve never actually meet them) are very interested in the use of food onstage, and often fascinate us with their descriptions and worries about it (is it is real, whether it is genuinely eaten etc).
Well, after the cake business at The Hothouse (a cake is sliced in two by a sword and eaten like a huge sandwich, only a few bites are taken though), I can report several other instances of food related news that I have witnessed this weekend. The Whingers and other interested parties might want to book their seats fast.
Firstly ‘The Car Man’ at Sadler’s Wells uses real dough and possibly real flour. More interestingly during ‘Ours’ at the Finborough Theatre, a jam roly-poly pudding is made onstage, seemingly for real (I could smell the jam, it’s a tiny space), but they don’t get around to eating it. Real vegetables are also put into a pot, and real ice in a bucket is seen (as well as lots of steaming brown liquid purported to be tea)! Is there no end to the naturalism at the Finborough?
But best of all was ‘Calling’ at the Old Red Lion. Not only did one character eat cheesy puffs all the way through the play, but at one point the three actors came onstage with hearty dinners of potatoes, carrots and chicken (one sans chicken as a veggie). The cheesy puffs eating man actually ate several potatoes, lots of carrots and much of the chicken (he then just moved it around the plate, as he was in the background to the other characters talking, and they didn’t touch a thing. But the eater was fascinating to watch, what would and wouldn’t he consume? He moved his potatoes round, mashed some of them, selected bits of chicken. It had a pleasant enough smell too). Then at the end of the play this chap even eats some sweets. All in all he must have had a large packet of cheesy puffs, several new potatoes, a small amount chicken and a couple of sweets by the end of the show.
Perhaps there will be a banquet eaten onstage at the Arcola tonight, I do hope so!