Theatre Review: Dinner at the Bridewell Theatre

The dinner party from hell raises temperatures in Moira Buffini’s darkly comic thriller DINNER.

YOU might be unlucky enough to be served up an undercooked slab of steak or watch a discussion on politics erupt into a blazing row, but rarely does a dinner party end up as bloody as this.

The savagely delicious premise behind Dinner is one most of us can relate to – that awkward dinner party where the guests are so teeth grindingly irritating you will the night to end – but in this case the night will end in murder.

It’s like an episode of Midsomer Murders but with an infinitely more sophisticated script. And anyone with a taste for the macabre should enjoy the Tower Theatre Company’s biting performance.

The dinner party from hell consists of a patronising philosopher spouting nonsense from his self-help books, the spoilt chain-smoking “news babe”, her husband the struggling scientist and, of course, the new-age vegetarian. All of whom are brought together by haughty hostess Paige (Simona Hughes) who has got more up her sleeve than a spare napkin ring.

But also lurking in the shadows is a monosyllabic waiter and an uninvited guest.

Although heavily over dramatised and slightly lacking in empathy, the play does provide enough suspense and clever nuances to keep you sated until the climactic death scene.

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And there are also some brilliant digs at modern cuisine, where it seems literally anything can be served on a plate as long it has the right garnish and an appropriately pompous name. Primordial soup anyone?