Food and drink shows at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
- David Pollock
- 2 August 2014
This article is from 2014
Love food? Love the Festival? Then you’ll be delighted to hear that there are several culinary-themed shows to tuck into this August.
Love food? Love the Festival? Then you’ll be delighted to hear that there are several culinary-themed shows to tuck into this August. David Pollock picks the highlights
To stage a play about Scotland’s national dish entitled Haggis, Haggis, Haggis: The True Story (Scottish Storytelling Centre, until 24 Aug (not 12-14)), 5pm, £10 (£8) in this year of all years might stray a bit too close to Saltire-waving gimmickry, but in this case we’re willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Backed by haggis-makers Macsween, a favourite of The List, and developed by playwright Stuart Delves through immersive research into the production, history and myths of the dish, we expect authenticity at the very least.
One theatre piece we would expect quality from is Chef (Underbelly, until 24 Aug (not 11), 6.10pm, £9.50-10.50 (£8.50-£9.50)), the tale of a haute cuisine chef reduced to running a prison kitchen as an inmate, with the acclaimed Sabrina Mahfouz directing Jade Anouka. Other plays which take grown-up looks at the subject of food and our relationship with it in bold fashion include Chewing the Fat (Northern Stage at King’s Hall, until 13 Aug (not 10), 12.55pm, £11 (£8)), a blend of storytelling, stand-up, live art and theatre which sees performer Selina Thompson tackle her struggle with her weight, while Binome – Souris Chaos (Institut francais d’Ecosse, until 17 Aug (not 11-12), 4.40pm, £7 (£5)) is a cultured comedy about obesity.
Alongside such sensible works sit the more gimmicky and outré. Pre-midday you can hardly move for shows offering a coffee or a croissant as a bribe for your ticket money, so we’ve decided to cast them aside and choose something more authentically different. Like Dinner is Swerved (C nova, until 24 Aug (not 12,19), 11.30pm, £16.50-£19.50 (£14.50-£17.50)), a late-night adventure in ‘multisensory dining’ for 16 participants in a secret top-floor location. Expect ‘edible shrubs’ and ‘audible dishes’. Or sample Lunch (Just the Tonic at the Community Project, until 24 Aug (not 12), 4.30pm, £7-£8 (£5-£6)) if you dare: we’re just going by the name, because all the description offers is ‘Lunch. A rare luxury for some of us.’
Elsewhere, the serious foodie is unlikely to be disappointed by Glenn Cosby: Food Junkie (Assembly Roxy, until 25 Aug (not 11), 4pm, £12-£14 (£10)), which sees the Great British Bake-Off finalist bring baking and chat to the stage, or many of the shows at Edinburgh’s Italian café institution Valvonna & Crolla. Look out for Bad Boys: Whisky Theatre (Valvonna & Crolla Scottish Foodhall @ Jenners, until 24 Aug (not 11,12,13, 18,19), 5.15pm (2.15pm on 24), £15 (£13)), a ‘romp through the bits of the whisky industry that didn’t quite go to plan’, and Italia ’n’ Caledonia (Valvonna & Crolla, 11, 13, 19, 21, 23 Aug only, 8.30pm (1pm on 23), £12 (£10)), a tale of the business itself and the Scots-Italian community.
Failing all that, might we recommend a drink-themed event at Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge, (7-10 Aug) or the Fringe standard Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience (B’est Restaurant, until 26 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), times and prices vary) for a typically Fringe food show.