But first, the interval. Hungry?

After the experience of the lambent Robert Wilson/Rufus Wainwright Sonnets shenanigans, and before we get to grip with adolescent passions in Spring Awakening, a short intermission.

Wouldn't want you to think that the monkey is starry eyed about all things Berliner Ensemble, but furry caps must be doffed and forelocks tugged in the direction of the interval snacks. This is, for many, a vexed question. How substantial is the ideal interval nibble? A morsel? A meal? At the Royal Opera House, where the intervals frequently out-length the ballets, there's time for waiter-service meal options. The Glyndebourne experience, of course, is constructed around the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely fête champêtre, from canapé to after-dinner-mint. Janacek can wait.

Most of us don't think to take a lobster along when we go to the theatre. Let's move swiftly away from the slavering exploitation racket that is the West End theatre bar (hand over your watch, yank out your better fillings and you might just scrape together the cost of a small, sharp white wine). Even more civilised venues don't offer more than the odd nut or crisp, with ice cream and chocs for the sweet of tooth. The oddest interval sight, to my British eyes, was at the Naples Opera House, where a pride of sleek-dressed Neapolitans queued for those dry staples of 1970s cheese and wine parties, Tuc biscuits and Ritz crackers. Elegantly extended fingernails, shaped all the better to rip plastic, tore into the little packages for an ungarnished nibble. La dolce vita could wait.

Nonetheless, something savoury would be good; not heavy but enough to stop your stomach grumbling through the play's most poignant moments. The Berliner Ensemble had some classy offerings - lovely yeasty pretzels and thick cheese straws, soft and salty and strangely satisfying. I like to think the recipes might descend directly from Helene Weigel (Brecht's wife and the first Mother Courage; Brecht Haus offers samples of her Austrian cuisine).

Back in London, Shakespeare's Globe has hazelnut shells embedded in the pit floor, as a tribute to the Elizabethans' snack of choice, while Restoration theatres were known for the orange girls, selling their juicy favours during a performance. But what would the perfect interval bite consist of? I'd put in a word for a cup of soup - something warming, demi-filling, like smooth pumpkin or creamy mushroom. But how about you, belly-rumbling culture vultures? What might sate your hunger and also sharpen your attention?

April 28, 2009 3:13 PM | | Comments (0) |

Leave a comment


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Performance Monkey published on April 28, 2009 3:13 PM.

Robert, Rufus, Shakespeare: together at last was the previous entry in this blog.

Wet dreams and their discontents is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.