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Festival Review: Clout Theatre--FEAST *****

Lorna Irvine reviews a production with 'painterly images that linger long in the mind' by 'one of the finest, most original physical theatre companies in the world.

Taking its cue from the work of Czechoslovakian genius Jan Svankmajer, the latest chapter in Clout's work, FEAST focuses on gluttony, starvation and conspicuous consumption in a world where food banks and greed uncomfortably co-exist.

Whether coltishly raising themselves up from the dirt where they feebly scrabble in bandages, scampering like show ponies, or squealing at the trough, this is the most brutally animalistic, complete piece from Clout yet.

The trio's segments, titled Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, begin with quiet desperation in a tableaux vivants of Renaissance waifs, twisting to a darker tone as a banquet table is sniffed out.

Jennifer Swingler and George Ramsay square up to each other in a spaghetti duel, while petite Sacha Plaige is shrink-wrapped in cellophane, box-fresh. They suggest, half- tethered to cereal bowls, that we are slaves to our basest desires, and the show becomes even more perverse as it progresses, playing with food fetish, mouths forced open and the contemplation of eating the most plump piece of human flesh.

The painterly images will linger long in the mind, and Mine Cerci's direction constantly wrong-foots the audience at every turn.

You may want to rethink eating a small, juicy cherry tomato after this. An audacious, profound, ridiculous and oh-so-naughty provocation from one of the finest, most original physical theatre companies in the world. Eat y'self fitter...

Zoo at the Pleasance, August 7-31 (not 21).

Image by Richard Davenport. Watch the trailer:

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