FEAST is an activist’s dream, delving into the evolution of humanity and exposing the excesses and extremes of consumerism. This show takes you to the edge of comfort while exploring the theme of food from primitive struggle to baroque excess and through to present day; the technological age.
The show seemingly starts from the very beginning… of time; wrapped in nothing but rags, covered in soil and grunting their way through the first segue, it proves as a reminder that we eat for survival and the necessity of nourishment. It acts as a stark reminder of what life is like for some, even to this day. Foraging and hoping for the God’s to shine down and proffer some grub – a total juxtaposition to the orderly form of a Waitrose local. Without words, it offers up some powerful imagery and often mixes with the plight of our four legged farm friends.
Evolving from scarcity to the frankly absurd, a very funny segment ensues as an actual feast appears on stage. What follows is an orgy of excess from faces in food to noodle duels and the inappropriate use of wine bottles. It is steak to thigh funny – it is the time of the harvest where everything is playful, bountiful and at times, extremely funny. This however, comes to an abrupt end with a tomato up the bottom. Yes, you read that correctly!
From fun and games to the more macabre, actor George Ramsay takes one for the team and ends up on an imaginary spit. It is quite a leap as the second segue is very human and yet all of a sudden the tables turn and the audience are taken back to the animal realm. This is very acute imagery as we are reminded that animals have emotions and feelings too.
Without any word spoken the message conveyed in this segment is concrete; you leave with no doubt as to the evils of the modern farming world and the atrocities that are hidden behind clever packaging and closed doors. Explored through the medium of physical theatre and multi media it is a show that packs a punch to the gut. This show will take you to the grotesque physical extreme, it will push boundaries and shock and yet on the other spectrum make you laugh out loud.
Slow at times, the first segment could do with a bit more tempo or at least a few thousand years trimmed off the evolutionary timeline. However, the actors are brilliant in their capacity to keep an audience captive and hats off them for what they endure on stage night after night. If you think ‘I’m A Celebrity’ bush tucker trial was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet! The actors are bold in their creation and the show is uncomfortable at best and yet for a thinking audience, it is brilliant in its capacity to surmise environmental destruction, farming and human perversion with only sound, movement and props. It is a show full of grit and substance, this isn’t a date night, out with the girls type event, it is a thought provoking piece of theatre best enjoyed with a social conscience.
One thing is for sure, it will leave you with food for thought…
Review by Stephanie Caiger-Watson
From primitive struggle, through the baroque excess to technological perversion, how has our relationship with nourishment changed throughout history?
This wordless and grotesque show employs physical theatre, clowning and multimedia to delve into the evolution of humanity, exposing consumerism’s excesses and extremes. With cascades of milk, raw steaks, live feed webcams and plenty of soil FEAST is an hour of virtuosic anarchy the like of which you are unlikely to have seen before.
Age Recommendation: 14+
Running Time: approx 60 mins
2nd to 6th February 2016
Battersea Arts Centre
Battersea Arts Centre
London SW11 5TN