Paintings and Cake

Do you like weird and impenetrable absurdist drama? The kind of play that seems to bend time with its slowness? Do you find pleasure in watching characters say meaningless things to one another, repeating them, not for emphasis, but for some confounding attempt at profundity?

Is it easy for you to summon empathy for actors who garble their words, miss their cues, speak without actually moving their lips and make no attempt at vocal expressiveness? Who utter dialogue in the flat tones of the robo-voices who ring you at dinnertime on behalf of bogus real estate schemes and fake sweepstakes?

Are you OK with sitting in a below-ground space that’s as airless as a boxcar? No, really, do you find it mentally stimulating to test your limits of claustrophobia in a room so hot it feels like the anteroom to purgatory?

Have you been craving an alternative to the well-produced, expertly acted, beautifully written plays being staged elsewhere at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe? Do you need an hour of wooden acting to remind you what good acting looks like?

Is it on your to-do list to witness a production in which the actors look like they need a hard scrubbing? Would you be interested in seeing three performers engaged in some new form of Method acting that requires them to wear filthy costumes?

Have you dreamed of watching a play with no-name characters (they are called A, B and C) who gabble on about being trapped inside Monet paintings (much the way you are trapped inside the venue) and who sometimes cram their mouths full of pastry?

If you said “yes” to all of these, Paintings and Cake is the perfect play for you.

Reviews by Elaine Liner

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Ricky Tomlinson: Guilty My Arse

★★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Backstage in Biscuit Land

★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Plain English

★★
Zoo Southside

The Ted Bundy Project

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.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Two friends are planning to go out one evening, somewhere, to an unspecified place. But their evening is constantly interrupted by the entrance of an enigmatic character. The scene transforms. We travel through time, to post-war Paris, to the time of the pagan gods, to 18th Century Spain. We visit Marie Antoinette, step into Goya's etchings of war, and discover the forgotten story of a mother. But where are the two friends going? And what are they looking for?

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