Feast. A show about food. A Baroque Banquet. Grotesque Clowning. Physical Theatre. Multimedia.. and the evolution of society? Clout Theatre present us with all of the above. I leave wondering whether I feel hungry, or ready to vomit. A fine line which Clout toy with throughout their piece, with magnificent commitment to their cause.
Audience members are invited to enter. The stage is presented with plenty of soil, as three performers (Charles Adrian Gillot, Sacha Paige and Jennifer Swingler) form a tableaux in the centre, each holding their own piece of cutlery up in the air, like some sort of regal statue wielding its sword in mid air. They are awoken by a watering can in the sky – a stunning exploration of what we as humans, need to grow. Comparing oneself to a plant, and then chomping your way through an array of vegetables during the show does seem rather murderous – cannibalistic even. Due to the grotesque nature of the show, I even find myself part hoping to see the performs actually vomit. I also hope to see a physical struggle when they begin to get up from the ground, it strikes me as odd that this is mimed when everything else is physicalised so viscerally. That being said, it is a mesmerising sequence to watch.
The piece is structured into three sections: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, with the performers upping the stakes after each meal. Sacha Paige is incredible with her ringleader-esque personna, egging Gillott and Swingler to enter into a spaghetti fight, which consequently ends in Swingler eating her way through a large (but ready peeled) raw onion. Food is not only used as an enabler for the macabre, but also for the pornographic. Highlights being a cherry tomato in Gillotts’ bum (assisted by Swingler, before he becomes a human kebab on a skewer), the raw meat vagina slap, multimedia melon fingering and finally the deep-throating of their camera.
Upon entering the space I am blissfully unaware as to how much costume would come into play. The performers start wearing a sort of white swim cap and bandage nappy, with a bowl tied to each one of them, like a ball and chain. The bowl becomes a bucket hat, in order to catch the cornflakes raining from the sky, which is later fashioned into a make-shift ruff – for the banquet. The image which stays in my mind can be seen above. The decapitated human head, served on a plate for all to see. Truly bizarre and yet wonderful in every way. Compliments to the chef, Mine Cerci. 4.5/5
Review written by Chloe Doherty.
Feast is currently showing at the Battersea Arts Centre until Saturday 6th February. For more information on the production, visit here…
If you can’t catch Clout Theatre at their BAC run then they’ll be playing at The Vault Festival from 17-21 Feb with The Various Lives of Infinite Nullity – “Join a suicide support group as they meet to reflect upon their lives in the afterlife.” For more info, visit here…