Edinburgh Preview: The Song of Lunch by Christopher Reid at Pleasance Courtyard (Forth)

The Song of Lunch - courtesy of Karla Gowlett
The Song of Lunch - courtesy of Karla Gowlett

Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, ITV; Downton Abbey, ITV; Toast of London, Channel 4) and Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, BBC Two; The Flood, Megatopia Films) star in this hilarious and poignant drama of a disastrous attempt to rekindle lost love. Set in a Soho Italian restaurant, Costa Award Winner Christopher Reid’s verse comedy is exquisitely intertwined with glorious animations by Charles Peattie (Alex cartoon, Daily Telegraph) in this bittersweet tragicomedy of love, loss and Chianti.

Simultaneously an homage to the long Soho lunch and a yearning for paths not taken, The Song of Lunch is a celebration of language. Its immediacy and rich comic prowess transports us to the old haunt of two ex-lovers, Zanzotti’s, where they are meeting for lunch with the prospect of some rapprochement, a rekindling perhaps. What could possibly go wrong?

Celebrated cartoonist Charles Peattie’s richly beautiful projected animations create a visual feast, illustrating both the action and the characters’ flights of fancy. This multi-disciplinary production dissects human frailty, portraying a descent of epic proportions and prompting us, perhaps, to recall our own past excess and misjudgements.

Robert Bathurst comments, “Charles Peattie’s spectacular artwork accompanies the Edinburgh show. His intricate, witty, beautifully drawn animations allow the two performances to be stylised with no props – no tables, menus, wine glasses or pigeons; the animation is designed to work beautifully with the words and create a theatrical whole. I’ve long been an admirer of Christopher Reid, one of our finest living writers. He’s huge in the poetry world and I relish the prospect of bringing his writing to theatre audiences.

Directed by Jason Morell (Against Prejudice and The Terrors of the Night for the Wanamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe), The Song of Lunch is a show for anyone who has ever been on a disastrous date!

The Song of Lunch by Christopher Reid is at Pleasance Courtyard (Forth).

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