Grid Iron, The Devil’s Larder

Review in Issue 17-4 | Winter 2005

Director Ben Harrison has said of his company that ‘Grid Iron aims to see the perfect marriage of site and subject... we seek the alignment of text and space as a way of heightening the visual power and emotional resonance of both'. The Devil's Larder is a promenade piece examining how food can act as a catalyst for unleashing our fears, desires and taboos. It is inspired by Jim Crace's book of modern fairy tales of the same name and is an excellent example of how text can work with other theatrical elements in the creation of a piece of ‘total theatre'. Thus, in a series of set-pieces enacted within the bizarre and rather spooky environment of Debenhams department store after hours, we encounter entrancing storytelling, breathtaking visual installation, robust physical performance and glorious song. Crace's magic-realist text is used as a starting point for a series of extraordinary set-pieces: the story of the search for ever more exotic meat in a secret diner's club in foreign lands is enacted on a miniature set with animated objects; in Homeware we encounter an unusual use for a husband's ashes and witness a very physically embodied kinky dinner party where soufflé meets seared flesh; in Bedware the raft on which a couple tossed out to sea discover the piss obvious secrets of survival morphs into the honeymoon bed of a reluctant bride who finds an aphrodisiac that sets her on a path to new sexual adventures; and in a panelled room with the illuminated Edinburgh castle framed in the window behind, an old woman kneading bread summons angels. Real magic indeed.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue


Date Seen
  1. Aug 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-4
p. 18