FESTIVAL REVIEWS: Young critics give their take on May Contain Food
In the build up to this year’s Bury Festival a team of young critics have been developing their skills in art criticism and creative writing in order to come and review three performances in the festival.
Year 5 students from Woolpit Primary Academy have been taking part in Creative Critics: Seeing, Doing, Knowing, directed by Christina Birt Projects and delivered in collaboration with Company of Angels.
Please see below for a selection.
All reviews will be available on the Festival website at: www.buryfestival.co.uk/get-involved/creative-critics-2016
May Contain Food
Thursday, May 26
Review by Caydie Orr age 10
We often don’t appreciate enough what food is on our plates when we sit down and have a meal, but May Contain Food shows the cruel way we kill animals and then eat them, no matter how delicious.
Protein Dance have made a performance for the public to try and convince us to eat more fresh food and take my advice it works!
May Contain Food is a very immersive piece of art. The dancing was perfect and the actors produced the music themselves without using instruments, but using their mouth, which was very interesting and they also used their bodies as props, serving it on plates. Protein Dance is aimed at an adult audience, but is still entertaining and comical for older children, although I would recommend it for 12 years and over.
I think the director Luca Silvestrini was very imaginative. The way the performers express the fresh food they are serving to the audience and the set design was very thoughtful because it was like a proper restaurant. Some particular parts I liked were when you got to taste some of the food because they made you eat it in weird ways. Donna Lennard’s opera skills were amazing and all the dances were symmetrical and in time.
I would highly recommend this performance for anyone who enjoys comical shows and for food lovers in general.
Review by Molly Brown, age 10.
May contain food is an immersive art piece. It makes you think about food and sometimes we take it for granted. There is something amazing about sitting round tables like you are at a restaurant with
waiters walking round you.
May contain food is an unusual art piece it includes vegetarianism and a funeral for a pepper! There was opera lots of dancing and a few swear words included. It was a very funny performance but taught you lots it was more for older children and adults. It included some dance sometimes all together and sometimes different people doing different things.
Martin George who played Martin, was like the manager of the restaurant he was criticising the vegetables and fruits. He was retiring so we all applauded him. He seemed to love food but got cross when it wasn’t fresh produce he kicked the plum and threw a cucumber.
Saara Hurme was my favourite character because she was a very dramatic person and made everything last really long it was very effective. She danced well on her own and interacted powerfully with other performers. At one point they were force feeding each other it was like they were knotted together.
The costumes were very good the performers had to be very quick at putting aprons and putting different shoes on. Also the girls had to dance in heels that must have been hard!
The director was called Luca Silvestrini. He is obviously a very passionate director. It must have taken a long time to make the show perfect and get the performers to their very best.
I think that less things going on would be better because it was quite hard to concentrate on everything around you. Overall, it was a brilliant show. I would recommend it to age 12 years and over. It was
Yann Seabra who was the stage and costume designer had did an amazing job at making everything so realistic. The tables we sat at were incredible and had lots of different foods on them - junk food,
pasta, vegetables, fruits and meat.
The dancing was energetic and engaging, because sometimes all of the performers were dancing together, sometimes in pairs and sometimes as a solo. The music was very moving and sometimes aggressive.
Quick go by your tickets now they will sell out quickly!
Review by: Molly Dixon. Age 10.
In the Athenaeum there was a wonderful show. When you walk in the actors treat you like customers at a restaurant, but by looking at the tables you could tell it was no ordinary restaurant.
Some of the tables had fur and animal skulls, some had junk food (My table) and some had vegetables.
Carl was our waiter, it was an immersive show because we were on tables and the actors were performing in the middle. It was mainly for adults, but it’s entertaining for children.
There was a women chopping up peppers then she stabbed a red pepper and left it and a girl picked it up and made a funeral for it. We got to taste food, we had a cherry tomato (these weren’t weird but Carl asked us to roll the tomato over your face), rice clumped together on a stick with sesame seeds (Some people liked this, but I didn’t), burnt kale (This was a crispy leaf, it was ok) and a ginger cake (This was nice).
The performance was about how it’s cruel to slaughter animals, but they taste nice. The performers all sung and it sounded like it was instruments, but it was them.
The performers were Carl Harrison, he was good because he was good at dancing. Saara Hurme, she was so graceful. Sonya Cullingford, she was also so graceful.
Donna Lenard, she was an excellent opera singer. Louise Sofield, she was good at singing. Matthew Winston, was a good dancer. Martin George, he was a good actor. Michael Henry, was good at singing.
Luca Silvestrini is the director, the show was magic. It was enjoyable and I recommend it to other people. I loved it. At the end I didn’t want to leave! I thought it would be good, but it was better!
Review by Ruby Williams age 10
On Thursday the 26 th of May Protein Dance came to Bury St Edmunds to perform in the Athenaeum. Their performance was called May Contain Food. This production is for age 12 years and overs. When you first walk into the venue it is like a grand ball with waiters in black and white and beautiful chandeliers. However, when you sit at your table you can tell it is like no other restaurant.
The performance has got lots of different subjects from vegetarianism to animal slaughter and criticising vegetables.
The dancing and singing varies from lyrical dancing to opera singing, but the performers make it very interesting by telling a story.
It’s mainly aimed at adults, but it was still entertaining and comical for younger viewers. This performance is an immersive piece so the audience is part of the show, so it makes us feel special.
The performers dancing flowed gracefully throughout the show. As soon as you walk in to the room, they have already started performing. The waiters come around to your tables and give you your menus.
All the music was cleverly created through the performers singing, mouth movements, tinfoil and other kitchen utensils. Body parts were used as props and at times the dancing and music are very aggressive.
My favourite characters were Carl Harrison, Sonya Cullingford and Michael Henry. I really liked their acting and how their movements flowed to the music. I also liked how they didn’t just stay in the same costumes, they took layers off and put them back on. Their voices were extraordinary and the performers cleverly made sounds you thought came from musical instruments.
They did a whole section about vegetarianism and at times they were serving their body parts on plates and going around the tables making chicken, horse and sheep noises! You wouldn’t see that in a normal theatre production!
At the end of the production we met the director (Luca Silvestrini). He must have put a lot of work in to the production to make it really interesting and he did a fabulous job - the show was amazing. Overall, the show was really intense and imaginative and I would defiantly go again and I recommend it to others .
So go buy your tickets now!
Review by: Kadence Cartwright age: 10
We walked in to the athenaeum to see a restaurant but as you sat down you can realise it was no ordinary restaurant.
The actors treated you like customers. They came around us serving water and introducing us to them. After a little chat and getting comfortable the show started. It wasn’t a normal show it was immersive.
The tables were on the outside of the hall and the actors performed in the middle.
The show was very comical and included music, opera, dance and awesome acting! Another fun part was that we got to taste food in weird ways like rolling cherry tomatoes on our faces then eating it.
We also tried kale this was like a crispy leaf but tasted quite nice, but it wasn’t for everyone.
We also tried a clump of rice on a stick with sesame seeds this wasn’t my favourite but some people liked it.
And at the end we had a ginger cake which was a nice ending to the show!
The performers were : Carl Harrison, he was good because he was a awesome dancer!
Sonya Cullingford, she was great because she was so graceful.
Saara Hurme, she was marvellous because she was soo dramatic she even gave a funeral for peppa when It got cut.
Martin George, was a lovely actor.
Donna Lennard, was a awesome opera singer.
Matthew Winston, he was a great dancer.
Louise Sofield, she was aggressive to food.
I think it really worked I loved it
I think it was aimed at teenagers and up but it was still very comical for children , some of the time it was still funny but serious .
All the tables had different themes my table had unhealthy food the table next to us were the pasta table.
The actors made us feel guilty for eating meat and ran around pretending to be animals and done realistic animal noises but they said at least the animals sniffed the fresh air.
The director Luca Silverstini was very imaginative and I didn’t want to leave.
I recommend it to everyone.
Review by Oliver H, age 10
If you think that this is a show that you just sit around a table and people do
jumping around you…
The May Contain Food dance is an unusual but exciting way to enjoy different food as well as all the exciting dance going on around you. It teaches you to think differently about food.
The introduction was casual and the set was a posh restaurant and then they started to dance.
It is aimed at older audiences but funny and entertaining for younger children. There is a lot of overestimating over cherry tomatoes, pigs, foreign food and a stabbed pepper (that someone ate at the end).
Everyone danced in time and it was all perfectly lighted for the occasions such as when Louise Sofield was slamming a knife on lots of food.
This piece of immersive art is very fun and just to warn adults it has the b word and the s word and that at one part ladies and men tear of their t shirts, however overall it is a very good performance.
The lights were colourised rainbow, green and white and the food was unusual but good especially the kale. It really makes you choose carefully about what you eat.
The music was very emotional and you could tell the mood but the meaning was quite unclear and it took time to understand it and also I found the feeding quite weird but the dance was very good the set was excellent and I
think that Yann Seabra was a very good designer
The solos and the groups were amazing and the songs were brilliant and the show was overall amazing.
Thank you to everyone that designed and took part in the effects such as SONYA, CARL, MARTIN, MICHAEL, SAARA, DONNA, LOUISE, MATTHEW, JACKY,ORLANDO AND YANN
Finally a big thank you to the director for thinking and designing the entire show.