Clean Mean Eating Machine

Yes, I’m a millennial. Yesterday I was in Shoreditch and had a charcoal and coconut soft serve presented in an Instagrammable black cone. I’ve waited over an hour for brunch at a hot spot in NYC’s East Village. I’ve tasted the Impossible Burger. Even this very morning, I had roast vegetables, halloumi and hummus on sourdough for breakfast. Endless student debt, sky-high housing costs and a competitive job market has left us millennials with only one thing to preoccupy ourselves with: food.

Worst Absurd are never afraid to really get stuck into the most childish and puerile humour

It’s this obsession that’s the target of Clean Eating Machine’s frenetic physical satire, brought to us by Worst Absurd. 6am yoga classes, fruit juice cleanses and spiralised meals are all fair game in this fast-paced, high energy comedy. Structured around parody covers of everything from ABBA’s Gimme, Gimme, Gimme to The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, each performer gets to star centre stage in their own satirical sketch. Stand outs were Angelique (Lily Catalifo) slavishly trying to make dry protein balls look sexy on a Facebook Live stream and Bobby J Jr (Jonathan Hawkins) impressively squatting whilst lifting colleague Steve (Cameron Chalmers). One scene where Brett (Dominic Blight) is caught out after consuming junk food descends into a pleasingly disgusting orgy of mess; and that’s what’s most enjoyable. Worst Absurd are never afraid to really get stuck into the most childish and puerile humour. No joke is too cheap, no act too extreme if it provokes even a single, snorting laugh. Their whole hearted commitment to this cause is admirable. And funny. Very funny. By the end of the show, The Warren’s Blockhouse is a filthy state. I don’t envy the clean up.

Small attempts at audience interaction weren’t wholly successful. It maybe should’ve become a more prominent part of the show or cut completely. Also, the satire isn’t as sharp as it could have been. Is clean eating the way forward or just a fad? Will body hacking help us live longer, healthier lives or is it all just draining the joy out of everything? Playing for laughs first and foremost sees more cutting criticism stunted in favour of pranks and shock tactics. Not to worry. After all, you won’t leave the theatre enlightened, but you sure will leave it entertained.

Reviews by Elanor Parker

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The Blurb

Join avocado advocates Clean Eaters Anonymous as they seek support for their dangerous obsession with keeping it clean and green. This debut full length show from Worst Absurd blends high energy physical comedy, clowning and a whole lot of kale in a satirical exploration of our clean eating fixation. Armed with a selection of pre-prepared vegetables and a tantalising soundtrack that M&S could only dream of, expect smashed avocados, £6 matcha lattes and to seriously reconsider that last #cleaneating Instagram. Greggs is strictly banned.