The Grand Expedition
Reviewed – 26th February 2019
“a magical journey; a feast, a banquet, a dance, a cartoon, a flight of fantasy”
“It is commonly known, in the society of aeronauts, astrologers, dreamers and all who divine such things, that every half-a-century the spirits of the air, summon the fearless to a Grand Expedition. Adventurers and travellers are called to venture; to go forth, forage and feast.”
And so Gingerline, the acclaimed group of dining adventurers, embark on another of their immersive dining experiences. The nomadic theatrical supper club, previously popping up in various secret locations along the East London Line (The ‘ginger’ line on the Tube map), have now shifted onto the Victoria Line. That’s pretty much all I can tell you. The rest you simply must find out for yourself. Be brave, be fearless, and indulge yourself on their absurdist, illusory adventure like no other.
You meet in a clandestine dining room, surrounded by masked dancers, and taken on a journey. On a journey beneath the skin, yet outside of your imagination; along the way tasting the finest food from wherever your hosts take you. You travel North, South, East, West, and another dimension altogether in what they call a “floating, feeding and falling dream”. This is no false claim. Multimedia and multisensory, all your senses are embraced.
Theatre, dance, animation, music and storybook shift before your eyes, fusing and vanishing as you dine with strangers who become friends. If you let yourself, you are transported back to a time that most of us have now forgotten; to when life was a mystery. Before you knew the word; before you learned to think the thought. When astonishment was as natural as breathing. It is no great mystery, though, to learn that tickets for this grand expedition are hard to come by. It is sold out, but extra tickets are intermittently released.
Although my lips are sealed, perhaps I am allowed to tease, with a few morsels of what can be expected. Five extraordinary mouth-watering courses are dished up matching the five extraordinary realities, or unrealities, as you journey through your pop-up storybook, living in animation. You roll with it, letting yourself be taken wherever the wind blows. You won’t know where you’re going, and, like I said, I’m not about to tell you. The destination might not necessarily be a place. But a taste – a new way of seeing things. You might lose sight of the shore. Cross the oceans. Cross space, and time itself. You might travel back in time; to the analogue world of bed-time stories, the tales they tell and the dreams they create.
“The Grand Expedition” is a magical journey; a feast, a banquet, a dance, a cartoon, a flight of fantasy. Where you are the guest and the star. Forget what you’ve learned. About dining. About theatre. ‘Gingerline’ tear up the rule books and serve up something entirely different. A dinner party out of this world. Unforgettable.
Reviewed by Jonathan Evans
Photography courtesy Gingerline
The Grand Expedition
Last ten shows covered by this reviewer:
Dad’s Army Radio Hour | ★★★★ | Wilton’s Music Hall | January 2019
Dear Elizabeth | ★★ | Gate Theatre | January 2019
Director’s Cut | ★★★ | The Vaults | January 2019
Out of Step | ★★ | Drayton Arms | January 2019
Police Cops | ★★★★ | The Vaults | January 2019
Queens of Sheba | ★★★ | The Vaults | January 2019
Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) | ★★★★ | The Vaults | January 2019
A Beautiful Noise | ★★★★★ | Lyric Theatre | February 2019
Can-Can! | ★★★★ | Union Theatre | February 2019
Not Quite | ★★★ | Hen & Chickens Theatre | February 2019
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