Review by Allison Browning
THE rules of etiquette were all laid out in the programme of
the Wyndham's production of Dinner, but most were
broken from the word go as we met our Cruella De Ville-style hostess
for the evening, who guided both audience and dinner guests through
the dinner party from hell!
One by one, the eclectic mix of guests arrived with exquisite
timing, being greeted by the waiter who appeared to serve wine
in a valium induced aerobic lunge style.
Once settled in, we were presented with an image not dissimilar
to that of 'the last supper', except our hostess was the devil
incarnate, complete with stunning red attire and disciples ranging
in character from the gorgeous Wynne, trying to keep sacred the
word 'cunt', to Mike, the pseudo burglar, who stumbled in from
Dinner does not fail to keep the audience consistently
between a state of shock and laughter, due to some brilliant casting
and fabulous timing, particularly a moment where the pizza delivery
service is smoothly called while through all of this our hostess
delights in the evenings friction as if relishing each scratch
down a chalk board.
Credit must be given to costuming, which perfectly complemented
character, with Lars looking like an up-market car salesman in
tacky green, and Hal, the disgruntled scientist, in poo brown.
Dinner was, as one might expect of a West End show, with
everything being 'just right', to a certain extent not too many
bold moves were made in the way of staging choices, instead the
show relied heavily on the wonderful dialogue and mish-mash of
This certainly worked up until the end but it was here that,
as a result of the writing, the audience was left very high and
dry with quite an odd, abrupt ending, where it is the hostess
that leaves this last supper in an unusual manner and our odd
waiter finally opens his mouth, only to leave the audience with
a remark not at all in keeping with the light hearted psychosis
of what came before.
Fast paced and eventful, Dinner is certainly one to get
a blush and a giggle from Grandma.
Dinner by Moira Buffini. Directed by Fiona Buffini, Designer
Rachel Blues, Lighting Mark Henderson, Sound Rich Walsh. WITH:
Harriet Walter (Paige, the hostess), Nicholas Farrell (Lars, a
writer), Penny Downie (Wynne, an artist), Adrian Lukis (Hal, a
scientist), Flora Montgomery (Sian, a sexpot), Paul Kaye (Mike,
an uninvited guest), Paul Sirr (The Waiter). Presented by Michael
Codron, Lee Dean and J & C Nederlander at Wyndhams' Theatre.
Charing Cross Road, London WC2. Tickets 020 7369 1736.