“If music be the food of love, play on…”
Sorry, but seeing as Scripts for Supper, the debut pop-up dining concept by Annie McKenzie, is a supper club and immersive rendition of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night rolled into one, we just had to get that quote in there. Now that it’s out of the way, on with the review.
Having made it to the Masterchef semi-finals, Annie McKenzie, whose background is as an actress, has launched Scripts for Supper – a pop-up dining experience that combines the two environments in which she feels most at home – the kitchen and the stage.
Greeted by the incredibly sweet Annie and her squad of actor-foodie friends, arriving at the supper club feels a bit like being welcomed into an incredibly bohemian dinner party. There’s chit-chat, drinks, a bearded Italian serenading guests, and delicious canapés (silky-smooth cauliflower velouté, moreish beef cheek croquettes and tantalising cockle popcorn). We’re seated and promptly thrown in at the deep end of the story. It’s been some time since we read Shakespeare in our school days, but the dialogue never fails to send a shiver down even the most hardened of spines.
The cast is energetic, passionate, and well-suited to their roles. Viola/Sebastian is played by an actress who reminds us more than a little bit of Sheridan Smith, while the ‘jester’ and musician in the team plays the part a little too well when he catches his fringe on a candle (accidentally), before bursting into unexpectedly haunting song.
The courses are matched to strategic points in the play – which is, mercifully, abridged. As much as we love a supper club, productions of Twelfth Night can go on for hours, so the team have broken the story into key plot points. Each chunk is paired with a course and a little exposition around the story so far. Very palatable indeed – which brings us onto the food.
The Elizabethan-inspired menu is classic and well-executed. We kick off with a pie of shrimps (“He smells like a fish…”), followed by creamy goat’s cheese on nutty rye toast (“I had rather live with cheese”). The main course (“His wit’s as thick as Tewkesbury mustard”) comes in the form of pork tenderloin with a mustard sauce (what else?), creamy mash, and deliciously caramelised carrots, which are just on the right side of charred. Finally, the pudding (“… there shall be no more cakes and ale”) is a sweet and fragrant lemon posset with a gleaming layer of rosewater jelly and welcome texture in the form of candied rose petals.
The evening culminated in each cast member swooning over a wooden spoon, while the audience giggled and sipped port. A happy ending indeed.
Scripts for Supper is truly a multi-sensory experience, with a feast for your eyes and ears as well as your mouth and nose (which gets a treat as you breathe in the appetising wafts coming from the kitchen). It’s brilliant fun, and we’re sure Annie will be very successful with it.
We The Food Snobs x