The Expeditionary Force in The First Supper

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.

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.
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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.
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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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The Blurb

'Brilliantly written, laugh-out-loud funny and intelligent comedy' (Frost Magazine). Ancient gods, modern foibles and the nature of infinity collide to create an hour of the slightly sinister and the very silly.

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