27
Feb
13

The Last Supper

 When Audience Becomes Actor: White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Gob Squad’s Kitchen & The Last Supper

 

Part 3: The Last Supper

 

The Last Supper

Reckless Sleepers, Belgium/UK

Turbine Platform

World Theatre Festival

Wednesday 20th – Sunday 24th February 2013

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

Featuring: Mole Wetherell, Leen Dewilde, Tim Ingram

 

The Last Supper

How will the last moments of your life play out?

 

Not strictly audience as actors, but with the expectation that we would be somehow participating, just 39 audience members approached the Turbine Platform late on Sunday night, and waited at the bottom of the steps to be seated according to a lottery, at a massive U-shaped table, set for dinner, to listen to a series of last words, delivered by the actors…and eaten by the actors. Famous last words (and not so famous last words), drawn from historical figures to death row prisoners in Texas, read aloud from rice paper notes and promptly stuffed into mouths, to be consumed with wine or water…

 

I declined a glass of wine. This was my last show of the festival, I was tired, and I had to drive home to the Sunshine Coast, otherwise a glass of red would have been welcome. This, the sharing of red wine, the table arrangement, and other religious references are obvious without becoming thematic, and a moment of bombast and blasphemy nicely becomes the delivery of Jesus Christ’s last words, pleasing believers and non-believers alike.

 

Another great gimmick, in addition to the rice paper eating, came with cloche covered dinner plates, revealing the unusual last meal requests made by the men on death row, including coconuts, hamburgers, fries and fruit milkshakes, and to my disgust, a plate of liver and onions delivered to the gentleman sitting next to me. The strong smell of liver makes me sick and I hoped I could block it out! After some time, the guests on either side of the liver agreed that it had to go, and somebody placed it behind us where it was less offensive. You cannot imagine how distracting the smell of liver and onions can be! If only I’d been seated next to the chocolate cake guy!

 

At times I was baffled by the actors’ need to read the last words (they’ve been touring this show since 2004), Dewilde stumbling a couple of times and the others possibly lost their place for a moment. But then again, who could tell? Was it intentional?  Another gimmick perhaps, to be referring to notes, rather than have the lines learnt? Once the tone and dramatic devices were established The Last Supper was an enjoyable and entertaining show, with enough meaty bits to make us all breath a little more quietly at the table. The re-telling of the Romanov execution was particularly rattling, and the visceral shock of seeing so many Hiroshima last words consumed is something that I won’t shake for a little while.

 

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