Platform, Glasgow, Sat 3 Nov; GilmorehillG12, Glasgow, Thu 8 Nov
The smell of fried onions wafts through the air as a pot of tomato soup takes shape before our eyes. No, it’s not Ready, Steady, Cook, but the latest offering from Glasgow’s Giant Productions. Grub’s Up aims to tantalise the eyes, ears and noses of young audiences, encouraging a love of both theatre and food.
An inspired set, complete with shiny ovens, kitchen utensils and food puppets takes us into the world of a competitive restaurateur. Desperate to receive a five star review from revered critic, Aroma Divine, the head chief steps on anybody who stands in her way – including her brother, the real talent in the kitchen.
While good attempts to triumph over bad, the larger than life characters keep young attention spans from wandering. As do humorous touches such as a talking radio, and several moments of audience interaction. But you can’t help but feel that a chance to engage children in the wonders of food has been lost. Apart from the frying onions, and a costume laced with the smell of fresh cherries, little attempt is made to show how flavoursome and aromatic a healthy meal can be.
Nobody wants to be preached at during a trip to the theatre, but this was an ideal opportunity to make good food fun. If Giant could lose the lacklustre dance routines and add in a few more innovative sensory touches, they’d have the audience eating out of their hands.