The knives are out at the start of David Shrigley, David Fennessy and
Magnetic North director Nicholas Bone's 'sort of opera'. This
shouldn't, however, signal any alarm bells in terms of what follows.
Because, for all the out and out ridiculousness of Pass The Spoon,
Shrigley's TV cooking show-based yarn is an irresistibly irreverent
riot of surreally grotesque humour and avant-garde music that waves a
refreshing two fingers at serious theatrical conventions even as it
takes them to the max.
Our hosts for the evening are June Spoon and Phillip Fork, a fawningly
supercilious Bleakly and Chiles of the Ready, Steady, Cook set. With
rictus grins fixed on an invisible autocue, Pauline Knowles June and
Stewart Cairns' Phil introduce us to a world where smiley-faced puppet
vegetables are auditioned to dive into the soup, Gavin Mitchell's
alcoholic Mr Egg is on the verge of cracking up, Martin McCormick's
pompous banana attempts to take charge while Peter Van Hulle's
celestial butcher really holds the power. Once the gluttonous Mr
Granules takes his place at the table, however, anything and everything
is on the menu.
As daft as such a stew looks, sounds and most certainly is, Bone's
large-scale production is pop culture savvy to the hilt. With
Fennessy's score played by an eleven-piece version of The Red Note
Ensemble and Tobias Wilson operating a larger than life Mr Granules,
this is Come Dine With Me as reimagined by Kurt Schwitters. Beyond the
froth, Shrigley is saying something magnificently unsubtle about how
celebrity culture devours itself, only to end up regurgitating the same
old crap to entertain us. As food for thought goes, it's shitalicious.
The Herald, November 21st 2011