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Friday, 9 November 2012

Theatre Review: "Dim Sum Nights" at Northern Stage

I'm jumping straight onto the laptop as I come in from Northern Stage here!

"Dim Sum" more correctly "Dim Sim" means "touch the heart", and is (as our waitress/narrator informs us) the small tasty morsels of food, dumplings, filo pastry parcels served with tea as breakfast, brunch, lunch, depending how long you sit chatting!

Yellow Earth Theatre brings both dim sum, in the form of tasty snacks and tea, and in the form of short pieces of theatre, written by Asian playwrights . These little stories are played out with humour in a very intimate setting, you really feel part of the show. Bringing together 3 directors, 4 writers and 5 actors to create an interesting buffet of storytelling and entertainment.

Tina Chiang welcomes the audience to the show and is, in this role,as"Butterfly" an engaging and funny waitress with an axe to grind, is like sticky rice, bringing all the other dramatic "dishes" together,

The dark and surreal "Nui Ah" (daughter) is decidedly weird and disturbing with Louise Mai Newberry and Matthew Leonhart as parents with a sad and shameful secret..I was a little unsure how bad the truth was!

"The Clean Up" a post party chat between teenagers (Oliver Biles and Jennifer Tan) may be the rocky road to romance. A sweet course this one.

"Yam Sing" (cheers) is set in a wedding, with two "guests" (Matthew Leonhart and Oliver Biles) comparing their own disappointments at the nuptials.

"Nighthawks" a Japanese restaurant owner overestimates the power of her ESP-led food service to help the troubled souls of her customers. this time, instead of healing their hurts, she seems to unleash their dark and reckless sides, putting everyone in mortal danger.

I found this production immense fun. it was very "in our faces" as the venue was small, and it worked. Although having an actor a metre away from my face shouting "and then we f*#ed, we actually f*#ed" was a bit intense....but hey, it gave us something to laugh about afterwards!

The food was clearly a popular idea, the audience wasted no time in sampling the contents of our cute little bamboo baskets. I loved the tea as well...would have loved a bigger pot!

This highly entertaining production (makes a great evening out) is onagain tomorrow (9/11) and Saturday (10/11). Tickets are available online from Northern Stage or over the phone on 0191 2305151.

Dim Sum Nights is also visiting:

Birmingham Ming Moon Restaurant

London Tara Theatre

Oxford Koi Restaurant 

London Artsdepot


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