Food vs Culture – Kipferl vs Game at Almeida Theatre
The contenders are set: cute Viennese cafe Kipferl vs intense theatre experience Game at Almeida Theatre…
It’s time for a FOOD VS CULTURE SHOWDOWN folks!
Kipferl is a jewel in the crown of low-fi dining, with extraordinarily tasty Viennese food!
After a great deal of faffing with Google Maps, we made it down to the right bit of the lovely Camden Passage in Islington to find Kipferl.
This quaint cafe environment is immediately warm and comfortable – and the gorgeous looking Viennese fancy cake counter would entice anyone!
Our server was a divine blonde German-speaker (sorry we didn’t get your name!), who made us feel so at home with the menu. For starters we had Pierogi filled with sauerkraut and mushrooms, which were delicious. Next up was a beautifully fresh tasting chicken schnitzel & Kasespatzle, the cheesiest most filling dish we could have imagined.
Stuffed & ready to burst, we didn’t get around to the wonderfully quaint cake selection but will definitely be back to try these…
Game at the Almeida by Mike Bartlett is a worthy night out, if not quite the knockout we’d hoped for…
SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT
Game is a 55 minute exploration of a dystopian society in which tourists pay to live out their sick fantasy of shooting people with a tranquilliser dart. It also deals with the housing crisis, as the couple being shot at repeatedly are desperate and need the house so desperately that they voluntarily agree to this abomination.
The production design and technical wizardry is superb, with multiple sound, video & staging tricks which will leave you gasping at the complexity. That said, the show could have been more interactive: once you are seated in your zone – one side of the cubed Almeida auditorium – very little else physically moves or engages the audience. We were really excited to see the show as the marketing made us think ‘YAY, WE GET TO SHOOT THE F%$KERS!’ (Interesting insight into the mind of the reviewer… Ed.).
The play definitely owes a debt to Charlie Brooker’s satire ‘Black Mirror’, and is in the same vein as The Nether, a Royal Court show with similar ‘sick fantasy’ themes. The use of a child actor in Game (as in The Nether), who in this case is shot at by gun-happy tourists, is difficult to stomach. But hey, this is meant to be challenging stuff!
Overall, the concept & production of the show was astounding but the cold execution and emotional void might leave you feeling a tiny bit flat when you are released back into reality. Not a first-date showm then!
We recommend watching the trailer below before you experience Game, as it really frames the show and gives you a (perhaps necessary) introduction…
On this occasion we went with FOOD as it was just such a lovely experience and we were a little lost in Game at the Almeida.