Immersive dining entertainment is defiantly a big trend in London at the moment, with imaginative varieties popping up all around the city. Just this year I’ve headed to the more traditional Faulty Towers Dining Experience and the tech fuelled Dinner Time Stories. Now my favourite London arts venue The Vaults with performance company I Am has stepped up to the plate to create something totally new with An Evening of Meat.
An Evening of Meat combines interpretive dance, amazing food and a touch of ‘in yer’ face’ theatre to give you a truly unique dinning experience. If you like to have a meal in a nice, calm venue without others invading your personal space this isn’t a show for you. Entering the industrialised space you are greeted by banquet style tables where the performers lay in wait, quite literally. As they laid there completely still on top of the tables the audiences nervous giggling could be heard around the room as they wondered where to put their drinks that wouldn’t disrupt the new dinner time guests.
Soon the industrial soundtrack gets pumping and the action really begins. Over the next two hours you are served six courses whilst female dances fill the space on your table exploring the space and their bodies through the medium of dance. This feminine, high energy performance surrounds the room and leaves you desperately trying not to miss a thing. The performers change from feats of true strength, to well choreographed moment pieces, to seemingly improvised audience interaction that keeps the audience engaged as they explore how the female body can be powerful and not just a piece of meat. Throughout the performance you can see and feel the audience relax and get more on board with the party atmosphere as it builds.
Often with dining performances the food can suffer, but not here. Every course has been expertly created with a deep thought for textures and flavours. A note about the food; If you are veggie or vegan fear not, the name of this refers only to the performance not the food, there are options for all diets. This is some seriously high-end food. My personal favourites were the seared coppacio of dry-ages tender beef, which was cooked beautifully and was perfectly accompanied with seedless watermelon, puffed rice and a thai dressing and the 70% Guanaja chocolate and olive oil ganache which came served in an ash tray complete with sesame ‘ash’. I’m not normally a fan of chocolate based puddings but this one was so well balanced, rich yet light, that I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
If you are looking to see this show then you are in luck as it’s performance dates have just been extended. Catch An Evening of Meat at The Vaults until the 2nd of June, a ticket will set you back £35 and includes 6 courses and can be booked through The Vaults website.