Theatre Review: Celebrity Night At Cafe Red

 

Celebrity Night at Cafe Red is an entertaining romp of a comedy. Lily Bevan has written a play which aims to poke fun at celebrity chefs, the French and the awkwardness of dating!

On entering Trafalgar studios 2, the scene is set with the waiters in matching pinstriped t-shirts, red scarves and berets prepping the dining area. Waiting nervously are two of the restaurant’s guests, our only authentic French diner Sabine (Sarah Lambie ) and jittery Ben ( James Rastall ).  Café Red is one of those kitsch over the top French restaurants with “plastic onions” on the wall. The question tonight is who are the patrons who frequent these kinds of tacky theme restaurants? Are they looking for a chance to travel vicariously through the corny décor to the South of France or are they aware of all its awfulness? The cast of characters at Cafe Red are all of this and then some!

Tonight at Cafe Red the guests are served by Celebrity Chef and squirrel advocate, Roly, played hilariously well by Mike Wozniak. Joining Sabine date for the evening is the tongue-tied and love struck Harry (Leo Staar). We eventually discover that Ben’s been waiting for his kooky girlfriend Hillary (Lily Bevan) to arrive to celebrate their anniversary.

Our last guests are three ladies all dolled up for a birthday do Briana (Victoria Lloyd) Lizzy (Lorna Beckett) and Lucy (Jeany Spark). Birthday girl Lizzy, donning a black mustache admits proudly that she adores Cafe Red and all things French. Briana reveals she chose this place because she shagged the celebrity chef last week and wants the chance to score one more time, while uptight Lucy tries her best to bite her tongue.

Our Chef Roly finally shows up in bright orange trousers and while wiping his most likely coked filled nostrils, he immediately asks for the camera crew. Unfortunately or fortunately for him this reality show will not be televised, as his coveted squirrel main course does not go down a treat with his guests. Yes I wrote squirrel!

In this ensemble of ten, I cannot forget to mention the Maitre D’ (Freddie Machin) and waitress (Alys Metcalf) who play a miming duo brilliantly. Both Machin and Alys Metcalf have excellent timing and nail their job as the evening’s entertainers, with just the right amount of slapstick and flare. Metcalf also has a wonderful voice and is an outstanding mime. There were some other great performances including Victoria Lloyd as the desperate, drunk, single chick in hot pants and I really enjoyed the quirkiness Lorna Beckett brought to Lizzy.

All in all, it’s a fun night out at a theatre in the heart of London but I’d recommend having dinner beforehand!

On till 6 October at Trafalgar Studios. Box Office: 0207 400 1257 or http://www.atgtickets.com

About Melissa Palleschi

Melissa Palleschi New York actress living in London and trained in Italy, New York and here in London at the Actors Studio. She is also a founding member of the Planktonic Players, who made their London debut at Camden Fringe Festival in 2012.

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