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FOOD’S BEST CAMEOS IN THE THEATRE

The Irish Times Magazine - - FOOD- FILE -

Ah, Septem­ber. Oth­er­wise known, in Ire­land at least, as theatre month. True, true, many folks visit the theatre year- round but for those of us who pre­fer to binge on our cul­ture, au­tumn holds forth the an­nual del­i­ca­cies of The Dublin Fringe Fest, The Dublin Theatre Fes­ti­val and the na­tion­wide Cul­ture Night.

Our sched­ules are full and some may have al­ready bit­ten off more than they can chew – just how many shows can a per­son go to in a sin­gle night?

And what of food’s place in the theatre?

Sure, it’s still frowned upon and rel­a­tively un­heard of to munch on pop­corn at a play ( I mean, re­ally) but food on the stage can be a very pow­er­ful trope, height­en­ing al­ready dra­matic scenes with sub­text and sub­tlety.

Per­haps one of the most grip­ping uses of food in a play is the din­ing scene in Rope, writ­ten in 1929 by Pa­trick Hamil­ton based on a true story and brought to the big screen by Al­fred Hitch­cock.

The mur­der­ers hide the body of their vic­tim in an an­tique wooden chest and host a din­ner party for the un­sus­pect­ing fam­ily of said vic­tim – us­ing the afore­men­tioned wooden chest as a buf­fet ta­ble for the party food. Cold as ice!

Ge­orge Bernard Shaw set his plot twist around a waiter who serves a fam­ily a meal of soup, tur­bot, fowl, cold pud­ding and more in his 1897 com­edy

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