When a grim-faced man takes the stage with a bag of frozen peas, carefully selects two after rejecting many and places them neatly on the floor before smashing them smithereens with his own shoe, whatever are we to expect from the rest of the show? The answer is far from easy to explain. This is satire at its richest, perhaps even a little too rich to stomach at times. The Expeditionary Force hit the audience with so much political, social and religious satire in the space of an hour we barely have room for dessert. Such is the impressive speed of this trio’s sharp and witty humour, it’s a little hard to keep up. You’ll laugh at one joke at the almost certain risk of missing another.
From institutional racism in the police force (is that politically correct?) and fast-paced news report parodies to the concept of an infinite supermarket and a young priest being told off by ‘management’ for reading ‘Ezekiel 25:17’ in the style of Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction, the trio explore a plethora of topical issues, adding their own satirical twist at every opportunity. In one sketch there is even satire within satire. It’s all very Inception-esque.
The performers themselves are each very different, possessing their own unique talents: Mike Shephard - the man with the peas - has a natural talent for playing angry characters, whether it’s shouting at an incompetent employee or a Marx book; Luke Sunderland’s quiet nature is reflected in his calm and innocent characters such as the infinite supermarket shop assistant or a living cat statue about to lose his job; and Jon-Jack Baldwin is a little more versatile, offering a range of characters from the creator of Mr. Men and Little Miss to the son of the Sun, with the head of a jackal.
The First Supper is definitely a show you would have to see maybe two or three times in order to take in all of the jokes but, if you have the time, the show is free so why not? Otherwise, just nod and agree.