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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Moira Buffini’s black comedy starred Harriet Walter as the heartless hostess from hell in the West End some years ago, and it’s cheering to see a fledgling company, Acorn Productions, make such a creditable stab at this dire and delightful dinner party.

Paige is hosting the bizarre banquet for her unfaithful philosopher husband, Lars, who’s just published a new book that she hasn’t read. The other guests are a Molly Parkin-style outlandish feminist artist and a svelte television newsreader and her microbiologist spouse.

What’s on the menu? Primordial Soup, Apocalypse of Lobster (kill it yourself if you want to eat it) and Frozen Waste as a dessert. Yum yum. Oh, and there’s also an unexpected guest: the chap who’s just robbed the house next door and has crashed his van in a ditch.

The dialogue is barbed and spiteful, even if the insistent jokes about getting whatever you want on the internet now sound a little dated.

Anna Fox’s production is a fine showcase for some talented Oxford graduates, notably Charlotte Mulliner as Paige in a little black dress, Alice Pearse as the artist, and Alfie Enoch – one of the other kids in the Harry Potter movies – as Mike the van driver, thief and token nice guy.


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