You would not have been wrong to expect a feast in this show set at a giant dining table, fully dressed with crisp linen, wine glasses and silverware, a low hanging chandelier and subtly significant art on the walls. Your master chef, waiter and chief entertainer is the inimitable Geoff Sobelle, clown/magician extraordinaire and a self-confessed ‘dedicated absurdist’. An Edinburgh Fringe regular, he premieres FOOD as part of the International Festival this year.
It is perhaps a sign of Sobelle’s extraordinary genius that the dish he serves up for this special occasion is an elaborate sandwich. Each layer is unexpectedly magnificent. Sobelle moves with the grace of a dancer, chatters softly along the way, makes us laugh, then makes us think about the predicament of the civilisation; teases, dazzles, appals, and slips us into a state of hypnosis. He even pulls surprisingly competent performances out of unsuspecting audience members, all this in a piece that reveals itself to be also a kind of performance art installation, featuring an endurance act. All along Sobelle serves food and drinks, with the deftness of a close up magician, then he takes them away. Performs gorging. Is a gorgeous performer. It is perhaps obvious from the above that the sustenance Sobelle offers is not always merely biological; ultimately it is the food for thought that this show is about.
The apparent levity of FOOD makes the gravity of its insights about greed even more intense. This at times makes it difficult to swallow but the pace is measured in order to allow time for digestion.
As with food itself, it is essential to know one’s dietary requirements when choosing this show, bearing in mind it is a set menu rather than an eat what you like buffet. But those who know what to expect from Geoff Sobelle would be gratified rather than dismayed. And the rest might find themselves yielding to any temptation.
Festival theatre studio
Geoff Sobelle Creator, Co-Director and Performer
Steve Cuiffo Co-Creator and Magician
Lee Sunday Evans Co-Director
Isabella Byrd Lighting Design
Devin Cameron Additional Lighting Design
Tei Blow Sound Design
Ryan Gamblin Sound Associate
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.
This post was written by Duška Radosavljević.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.