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An Evening of Meat: a taste of Feminine mystery

You will know, dear readers, how tireless SEEN is in her search for new and exciting destinations in London. Indeed, the whole city resembles a vast buffet from which the discerning visitor can pick anything that takes their fancy. This ambience certainly resonates at ‘An Evening of Meat’ currently taking place at The Vaults in Waterloo.

American director Kate March and her all-female creative collective I AM have brought a unique blend of choreography, performance art and splendid food to this atmospheric part of London. ‘An Evening of Meat’ has already achieved critical acclaim in Sydney, Hong Kong and Berlin for its innovation and expression.

The performers use the long refectory tables as their stage and explore the all-fours position. Throughout the dining experience, as we feasted upon a stunning six-course menu the performers struggled to reach a standing position. As the performers writhed, crawled, stamped, gasped and pounded the tables, exploring various traditional states pertaining to the feminine: vulnerability, strength, power and mystery combined with the food and drink to create an unusual experience – the most unnerving of which involved holding the dancer’s hands to help them balance or meeting their unflinching gaze. The talented performers seemed hardly to be of this world such was their commitment to the theatrical experience. Their costumes were very striking, referencing burlesque, oriental silks, fishnets, underwear, and the most amazing headpieces, all designed by Lisa Van Tang. Great musical soundtrack too from Patrick Rivera.

Kate says: “I AM performances have brought me around the world, allowing me to engage with diverse audiences and to experiment with innovative concepts. Returning to London to share my creative evolution with this audience is more meaningful than words can express — I can’t wait to let my body do the talking.”

The food was top-notch: A scoop of chicken liver served in a savoury cone, spiced beetroot glaze and walnut crumb to start, followed by Salt baked potato, yeast beurre noisette, crisp pancetta; Seared carpaccio of dry-aged tender beef with kohlrabi, haricot verts, puffed rice and a thai dressing; Braised mutton shoulder – sweet garden peas and spearmint, 14 day fermented black garlic mustard, dehydrated feta, pea shots and charred wild garlic; Melt in the mouth rare breed pig cheek oyster with a side by side pairing of lentils, a gently spiced red dahl and herby Puy topped with citrus gremolata and for a stunning dessert: 70% Guanaja chocolate and olive oil ganache, sesame ash, coconut bacon flakes and vanilla smoked salt. The braised mutton shoulder and the pig cheek oyster were SEEN’s personal favourites. The chocolate dessert was outstanding. Other dietary requirements can be accommodated too, we were glad to see. Created by Head Chef Chavdar Todorov, the food was historic. The waiting staff were almost as choreographed as the performers, deftly serving and retrieving plates and glasses as the evening unfolded.

Following the show, guests were invited to stay behind and enjoy drinks, music, dancing and an underground after-party at The Vaults. If you love good food and immersive theatre, this is definitely for you. A triumph.

The Vaults
Leake Street

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