Lunch
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 16th Aug 2016
  • |
  • ★★★★

Lunch. It’s a rather impenetrable title. Doesn’t give much away about the content of this show. Neither does the poster, as it happens. Which is exactly as it should be because Luke Courtier has assembled an hour of assorted comedy moments which is best experienced as a stream of consciousness - unsure of what’s coming next but happy to go with the flow.

An enjoyably-random hour.

Courtier’s quest to ‘understand’ lunch is still presented as the central thread but, given that he never really explains what this understanding entails, it’s only a theme in the very loosest terms. That said, there is something about the random, inconsequential nature of the conversations we have over lunch which makes sense of the rapid swings from one subject to another contained within the show. How else would you move from Tabitha, detailing the dangers of dating a recklessly-outdoorsy posh girl, to another song about the under-appreciated Thomas, Lord of Clarence from Shakespeare’s Henry V to a third song about premium soaps.

What’s unexpected is that, in a year dominated by political standup - polemics about Brexit, social inequality, etc. - dealing with such innocuous subjects actually makes Courtier a bit of a breath of fresh air. That’s not, of course, to say that the satire isn’t incredibly worthy - it’s just nice to laugh at surreal songs about tiny dogs and pate too.

The off-the-wall nature of Courtier’s content is supported by his character delivery - a sort of semi-lucid, Tim-Nice-But-Dim posh-boy drawl - outwardly serene but with an underlying hint of anxiety that something is terribly, terribly wrong. Without this, moments like Courtier’s song congratulating you on remembering your shopping list but berating you for forgetting various niche wars from history, wouldn’t make any sense but they do feel consistent with

It’s entirely possible that the rather niche nature of the subjects being joked about here might mean it doesn’t work for everyone. After all, as a middle-class man, living and working in South West London (and with at least a tangential understanding of premium soap), I’m probably this show’s target market. However, if you’re even slightly aware of the Made-In-Chelsea lifestyle that Courtier is mocking then there should be something here for you and, even if you’re not, Lunch is still an enjoyably-random hour.

Reviews by Tom King

Underbelly, Cowgate

Lucy Farrett: Lois

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

She Sells Sea Shells

★★★★
Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square / Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★

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

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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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Luke Courtier presents Lunch, a high-octane series of musical comedy vignettes asking that vital question: well what is it that really happens at Lunch, narratively speaking? From the fashionable perils of adequate dog size, to an ill fortune horrific death in Knightsbridge, the woes of the largely forgotten Thomas Duke of Clarence and the doomed travails of a goose called David and a duck called Susan. This is a veritable treasure chest of song, mirth, searing relevance and that distinct fleeting victory one feels after satisfyingly grasping the very last Saucisson-Sec from the charcuterie aisle of the Fulham Waitrose.

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