Brighton Fringe 2013
"Paige has created a dinner like no other. Served by a silent waiter sourced from an obscure website, she opens her home to an artist, a scientist, a sexpot and a burglar."
We walk into a theatre with a sound backdrop already playing. Lights already on stage which is set for dinner…
The set is brilliant creating both perspective and accessibility in a single and simple act of design and placement. The scene, set for darkly designed dinner…
Moira Buffini’s play is full of quickfire dialogue and there’s plenty of pain and anger at the heart of it, laced with a raft of sharp and vlever dark humour. A thriller, a comedy, a dialogue play where things unfold and are revealed. The relationships emerge, morph and twist.
The young cast can’t always get their lips around the script and it sometimes feels like highly skilled recitation which is a shame and needs working on. It lets the overall piece down given how excellent the interplay and pacing is. This really is an unmissable play for a script that is well worth the time and a cast giving every ounce of energy, and some.
The script is full of clever bitchiness especially in the form of one liners. None of these characters are likeable as people and this makes it hard to enter emotionally into the play though we can, as onlookers, appreciate the wit and razor-sharpness of the writing. In places the cast deliver stellar moments and set pieces.
But a dialogue play, to be outstanding, has to be delivered as if the script is words spoken for the first time. We have to believe these characters are people who haven’t learned in advance what they are going to say. This feels a little bit too much like acting – beautifully timed and mostly tightly delivered – but script- based acting nevertheless. DIve even more into the physicality of the characters, create a tension through less hurried delivery , pace and slow and let the silence reign when it needs to, and this will lift to brilliant. As it is it is good and immensely engaging and watchable.
I enjoyed Dinner very much and savoured the sharp humour and the ability of the cast to hold the content so well. It feels like a highly competent student production and it is worth seeing on that basis. At heart this is impressive quality drama that could find its wings even more.