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A 'Dinner' from hell

By Martin VanBuren III
On February 13, 2017

Scene One: Barren. Secluded in darkness and mystery; presenting an uneasy welcome to a table covered in a lacey tablecloth where dust has just been shaken off.

            Silence.

Hand-painted china stands at attention alongside gleaming silverware, overlooked by crystal-watchtower glasses filled with bubbly liquid. The stage is lit generously, accompanying a humble set that avoids distraction and sets the initial mood.

            On an evening shrouded in fog, the alluring presence of the elegant Paige (Sarah Liell, dressed in deep purple silk) swaggers down the steps into the dining room. Ordering the waiter (Rudy Ryan) to begin preparations for a celebratory dinner for her husband Lars (Kyle McCarthy), seats at the dinner table begin to fill.

            Wynne (Katherine DiGuardia) arrives first, although without her partner who had earlier dumped her for painting and exhibiting his genitals in an art gallery.

            Hal (Harry Reid), a microbiologist, also joins the party; a pipe protrudes from his lips as his new wife Siân (Rebecca Russell, dressed in a stunning black moonlit-dress ) a TV news babe, cooly strides into the room.

            An unexpected arrival, Mike (Kit Hudson), disturbs dinner looking to use the phone after crashing in the fog.

            It is not long into dinner before the evening turns into an all-out shitstorm.

Audience members will begin to feel a part of the dinner table, and feel the tension as lines such as “Fuck. Shit. Up.” and “Yes, drinks. I’ll take 5.” are sure to prompt uncontrollable laughing, or belching.     

            This dinner is surely one to never forget; although the recipes are a different story.

The appetizer arrives just in time to satisfy growling stomachs.

The appetizer is Primordial Soup (onion, celeriac and parsnip base, with algae), followed by the main course of Apocalypse Lobster, where the guests are free to choose whether to save the red crustaceans, or listen to them scream in boiling water before arriving trailing with steam.

Last but not least is a decadent dessert consisting of Frozen Waste (blended-up kitchen-bin contents, with sugar!) -- yum.

            By the end of dinner, the table has been occupied by a battalion of shining soldiers and full bladders.

            A party just wouldn’t be the same without a few party games; although in this case, not all the participants survive, and the waiter’s true identity is revealed.

            In her directorial debut, Flo Keyes has assembled a young cast that was more than up to the task of inviting everyone to dinner. Bringing Moira Buffini’s “Dinner,”  the Castleton Blackbox Theatre, performers and audience members all sat down for a disastrous dinner no one will forget.

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