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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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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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.

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