Table manners History

Table Manners

Is a set piece duo mime show set in a public restaurant.

It was initially created for Perth City Councils annual summer program of inner city entertainment.

Using elements of invisable theatre, mime, pantomime and increasingly absurd character development, the piece develops from invisable theatre through to overt pantomime and essentually involves an excessively pedantic food critic and a waiter pushed too far.

The motivation for this work work was to produce an initially subtile piece of theatre that didn,t impose itself theatricly on dining patrons but rather evolved in their midst. It was important also to be sensitive to our host restaurants prime function which is to provide quality atmosphere service and food. Our brief was obviously to add and enrich to rather than subvert the atmosphere .

I had researched restauraut pieces, mainly English and wanted to produce something that moved away from the accepted character farce and more in the direction of studied eccentricity while still employing basic theatrical structures.

I wanted to construct a piece that was self contained ,a performance that could be referred to by an audience while relieving them from the neccesity of direct engagement.(The dreaded "Approaching Violinist" syndrome)

Evolving from the pretext of a regular interaction between two characters, a waiter and a food critic into studied absurdity the piece was constucted to allow audience members to spend at least some time unsure of the context of what they, at various stages, began watching. The performance itself becomes a topic of conversation.

The piece is in fact initially invisable before graduating via eccentricity into apparent theatre.

Its a twenty minute piece scripted to 100 cues.

Our inital season covered 2 weeks and 8 restaurants with over 40 performances in total.

We recieved good feedback with restarants writing us references and more importantly the audiences would spontainiously applaud as , in character I left the premices unaware that I had large black circles round my eyes, soot on my face and a small blob of cream sitting on the top of my head.

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