Festive feasting through immersive theatre debutÂ
It is the guests who make or break a dinner party '“Â and what better guests than yourselves when surrounded by festive grumps and cheer.
The setting for Theatre Deli's Christmas Carol is one big festive feast and the whole experience is absolutely delicious.
What could be better than combining great food and top class entertainment for a couple of hours? The concept felt like a winner as soon as I heard of it, but it was hard to imagine until I had witnessed the '˜immersive' theatre for myself.
Let's talk food first. We were served a two-course traditional Christmas feast, cooked by charity St Mary's Church. They roast potatoes and parsnips were so good they deserved an award. In fact, everything was delicious. The huge silver trays laden with hot foot are brought to the table and then everyone serves themselves. Although, the characters are more than happy to help if, for example, the cranberry sauce should be out of your reach.Â
Feasting is centre stage but that shouldn't detract from the acting which was wonderful. The whole show is performed by just two actors, and I was very cynical at the start as to whether they could pull it off.Â
I should have been more festive and less Scrooge in my approach because they utterly nailed it. They were incredibly versatile and, backed by some great special effects, create a huge wave of happiness. If ever you leave a theatre feeling as if you are friends with the characters, this is it.Â
They were onto a winner with one of the most popular Christmas shows ever penned, but I'm sure Dickens would have agreed with them adding in a few games and cracker jokes makes it feel. You don't have to actually participate, other than eat and perhaps sing as part of the group, but there are plenty of opportunities if you want to '“Â and many do.
It is not a panto, it does not have a cast of thousands but this show is something very special. The audience covered a wide age-range and everyone was completely engrossed including the children.Â
For extra feelgood at this most giving time of year, not only is Theatre Deli a charity but this production is the perfect way to highlight the culinary creations of a the team at the church over the road.
Last year,Â St Mary's Church worked with FoodCycle in Sheffield serving 6,072 meals and saving 10 tonnes of food from landfill through 5,169 hours work.
It also runs social innovation scheme, TimeBuilders which empowers people who are unemployed, have mental health difficulties and many with chronic ill health to become assets in the community by enabling them to get involved in a huge variety of activities run by the charity.Â
Why would you not want to be massively entertained while helping two such causes. Food, theatre and charity '“Â that is every box ticked on many Christmas lists. Of course, the moral of the story is also one we should all learn from. Another reason to pop along.
I have to confess, this was my first visit to Theatre Deli and I left content in every possible way.Â
Christmas Carol runs until Sunday.Â
Tickets start from Â£35 and include the two-course dinner.
Book atÂ theatredeli.co.ukÂ Take my advice and tuck in.