Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Dramaturgy of Lunch: Robert Bathurst @ Edfringe 2018

The Song of Lunch 
by Christopher Reid 
Pleasance Courtyard (Forth), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ Wednesday 1st – Monday 27th August 2018 (not 13 th), 14:20 

Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, ITV; Downton Abbey, ITV; Toast of London, Channel 4) and Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, BBC Two; The Flood, Megatopia Films) star in this hilarious and poignant drama of a disastrous attempt to rekindle lost love. 

Set in a Soho Italian restaurant, Costa Award Winner Christopher Reid’s verse comedy is exquisitely intertwined with glorious animations by Charles Peattie (Alex cartoon, Daily Telegraph) in this bittersweet tragicomedy of love, loss and Chianti. 

What was the inspiration for this performance?
I read the book and immediately wanted to stage it in theatre before anyone else had the idea. It’s so funny, laden with yearning and is expressed in the peachiest language no prose could aspire to.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?
So long as you don’t bore your audience. They’ve come along to be engaged, maybe entertained, not pinned back with polemic.

How did you become interested in making performance?
Part of the buzz of staging The Song Of Lunch is that nobody quite gets it till they’ve seen it. It’s not an obvious thing to be doing, which makes it an exciting challenge. I’m also determined to introduce Christopher Reid to theatre audiences.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
Yes. However punchy the images, music, soundscape or performances in the show, everything is there to serve the language.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
About ten years ago I worked with the animator Charles Peattie on a staged version of his satirical cartoon strip Alex. We had about thirteen screens on stage and I interacted with the animated cartoon characters. We took the show around the world.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I hope they’ll be glad they came, I hope they’ll swing along with it and, maybe, be pleasantly surprised that verse can be so engaging.

The Song of Lunch
Pleasance Courtyard (Forth), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Wednesday 1st – Monday 27th August 2018 (not 13th), 14:20

Simultaneously an homage to the long Soho lunch and a yearning for paths not taken, The Song of Lunch is a celebration of language. Its immediacy and rich comic prowess transports us to the old haunt of two ex-lovers, Zanzotti’s, where they are meeting for lunch with the prospect of some rapprochement, a rekindling perhaps. What could possibly go wrong? Celebrated cartoonist Charles Peattie’s richly beautiful projected animations create a visual feast, illustrating both the action and the characters’ flights of fancy. This multi-disciplinary production dissects human frailty, portraying a descent of epic proportions and prompting us, perhaps, to recall our own past excess and misjudgements. 

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