Sue Gill in John Fox’s Engineers of the Imagination:

‘We think of our audience as guests, so it is only natural to serve them with with food as well as fireworks, to soup as well as songs, desserts and dances, meringues and mysteries. … When our events take people on a demanding journey  – physical or emotional – then the function of the food is security, an anchor or reassurance. (We think there is also a link between food and quality of performance: on our residential summer school students noticeably relax when they discover that they will be regularly well-fed: food becomes the tightrope of performances.)’

Reproduced here courtesy of John Fox

Welwyn and Hatfield Times 25th May 1979:

‘Food was an integral part of the Welfare State event. The company drew what resources they had to create locally sourced, home-made food to be served to their audience, and often created sculptural food to fit with the theme of the events. On a chilly November night in  Lancashire, it would be spiced lardy cake in sugary slabs straight from the oven located round the back. At New Year in West Yorkshire it would be pots of tea and best china cups and saucers. In New South Wales it would be fresh mangoes …..

One event where the feast was part of the central part of the performance was When the Pie was Opened (an unashamed food gig for 35 people a night) at Digwell House in Welwyn Garden City.

The confectionary Carmen Miranda swayed in through the French windows like a patisserie’s dream, her high hat and wide skirt encrusted with … meringues.  ‘It’s time for pudding,’ said a waiter, scooping off the meringue and filling dishes for the astonished dinners … the dance studio at Digswell House became a banqueting hall, with a raised dining audience and the theatre company did the rest. They were the performers, the chefs and the waiters.’

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