Gastronauts*** (Royal Court Theatre, 9 December 2013)

Posted: December 11, 2013 in Theatre

Described as “a theatre adventure with food and music”, this 100 minute entertainment explores our dietary customs at the present time and in the future. We begin in a waiting area where we are served aperitifs which look like neat spirits but are in fact fruit/vegetable juices, misleadingly coloured. We are then seated around tables in the dining room, where a musician (Alasdair Macrae) and four waiters/performers begin to entertain us with amusing songs, comedy sketches and food, peppered with pertinent facts about how and what we eat. Delights that are put before us include savoury profiteroles and sweet egg sandwiches, also baked locusts and crickets (both bland, but perfectly edible), serving to demonstrate how our choices of foods are influenced by appearances and irrational prejudices. The songs and comedy segments satirise the diet industry, supermarkets, dealings in foodstuff commodities, etc, etc. If anything, the show’s themes are too scattered, when a sharper focus on fewer, very specific topics could have made a greater impact and left a more lasting impression. Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable piece of lightweight fun.

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