theimaginarybody, Food

Review in Issue 18-4 | Winter 2006

Food is to performance what haute cuisine is to cooking – expertly conceived and executed, beautifully presented, but there is substance too. Text-heavy, the script has been collaboratively realised by devised work for the company and a writing partnership between NSDF award winning writer Joel Harwood and director Christopher Heimann. The resulting treatment of the text, physically realised through great ensemble work and a sensitive use of rhythm and image, creates a physical counterpointing to text and subtext much more sophisticated than standard devised (or written) fare.

There’s a great central performance from Sean Campion as a character almost overfamiliar yet very distant to ourselves – a good contemporary translation of the concept of the tragic hero. The direction is consistently strong and inventive, the design and sound design are creative and well integrated, and the performance decisions are intelligent and satisfying.

We are left with a strong consciousness of the bodily reality of the stage, which plays up one of the more potent themes – of the interrelatedness of body and meat, food and person, substance and character. This play could easily have become simply an intelligent and wittily relevant comment on the culture of celebrity professionalism. Instead, a more holistic approach to theatre making engenders both the physical and metaphysical worlds of the play with more depth, dynamic and complexity. Food advocates the possibilities of the form to a wide audience whilst being a ‘well-made play’ of excellence in its own right.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-4
p. 25