Food for thought
This article is from 2008.
In any conversation, there’s always another conversation going on beneath the ostensible day to day chat. This premise is the starting point for Supper, which amounts to an intriguing conceit about love, subjectivity and memory.
The audience are invited to some comfy seats around a corner of the balcony bar at the Assembly Rooms, where they are equipped with a set of headphones through which they eavesdrop on the inner thoughts of a character at the four-person dinner party that goes on before us. One may choose either the female or male perspective as a script – I chose the male. Here, the rich tones of Sandy Grierson illuminate the otherwise banal chit chat of a quotidian meal between four thirtysomethings, notably played by volunteers from the audience. Much of the monologue that proceeds from this amounts to a gorgeous soliloquy, which moves from a complaint about dodgy teeth to the love of the character we are listening in on for his partner, incorporating the verse of Andrew Marvel in his thought process, as well as offering us an insight into his insecurity about losing his significant other at some point.
Symon Macintyre’s production of John Harvey’s script is a likable enough piece, but reaches no great heights in terms of the insights offered. You’re also left wondering whether subjectivity works in quite the isolated way that this piece proposes – there’s a sense that our freewheeling internal streams of consciousness are not much contingent on what’s happening around us at any given time. And whether the external world can be as neatly cut off from our thoughts is a moot point.
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 24 Aug (not 18 & 19), 2.30pm, £7.50 (£5).