LEWES-based writer and director Jonathan Brown brings his new show The Last Lunch to Arundel prior to the Brighton fringe.
Jonathan’s Something Underground Theatre Company will be in action on May 11 on 12 in Arundel’s Victoria Institute and then from May 24-27 at The Old Courtroom, Brighton. “We’ve all heard the age-old adage ‘You are what you eat’, but The Last Lunch sets out to explore that notion right to its nth degree,” Jonathan explains.
“What happens to your psyche, to that of your family, and your nation, once you’ve gobbled down pound after pound of cheap meat from animals that have been kept in questionable conditions, is part of what the new play explores.
“It’s about traditional British butcher Albert, who’s enraged at having so many opinionated vegan sons, spiritual midwives, hippies and pregnant grand-daughters show up for Sunday lunch; who’s trying very hard to keep his trusty Nokia out of the tofu casserole; and who’s trying not to buy yet another consignment of ‘damaged stock’ from his beef-farming ‘friend’ Peter.
“As guest upon guest arrive, the house fills with demons, gods, and archetypes that start to play havoc with the whole family. It’s funny, moving, poignant, and more than a little disturbing.”
Jonathan said: “Starting with three conversations between six people, in three imaginary spaces, but played in the same theatre-space, the spaces and conversations merge, are joined by new scenes, a total of ten characters, all in real-time, culminating in a surreal crescendo of chaos, shifting to a new (or rather ancient) disturbing moral landscape.
“With interjecting and interspersed conversations, we see characters, who are in different imaginary spaces, in close proximity on the stage. The resulting emotional bleed over is fascinating.
Jonathan added; “In my one-person show, Licence, I play 13 named characters, plus a huge pub brawl and its aftermath. These levels of chaos make the perfect contrast for that crucial moment, when all falls completely silent, a pin can be heard dropping, and the more tender of the protagonist’s feelings become intensely palpable. I wanted that same level of chaos with a full cast, and have found a wonderful collection of players to populate the play.”