Night of the Theatroscope

A journey exploring the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of different countries - British Museum of Food, January 2016

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Night of the Theatroscope - British Museum of Food, January 2016

Bompas & Parr took guests on a culinary journey over 5 courses/acts, deep into the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of five different countries, via gustatory offerings and evocative scenes displayed on a LG OLED ‘window’.

The dining experience drew context from some of the earliest adventures in Edwardian cinema and early 20th century notions of technology and entertainment to give the evening a richness and resonance as rich, vivid and memorable as the LG experience itself.

The event was based on the tale of the Theatroscope; Robert W.Paul’s British Patent Application of October 1895, for ‘a novel form of exhibition or entertainment’, which was greatly inspired by the world created by H.G.Wells's The Time Machine. The dinner pitched the strange techniques of cinema past against the incredible realm of fantasy now available to us through the power and the glory technology today.

In a verdant room inspired by the Edwardian parlor where H. G. Wells and Robert W.Paul might have conjured their Theatrograph plans, guests dined on jittering lobster (killed minutes before service) as tribute to South Korea’s live tentacle eating tradition, then a luxurious Coq au Vin in constituent parts. The screens were used to take people on a journey across each country, eventually crash landing in a prehistoric era filled with plants, jungles and huge butterflies (BMoF butterfly house). After mind-altering palate cleanser slushies and buzz buttons, guests returned to the safety of the mirrored parlour for a flaming trifle procession, brought in to the call of live samba whistles and delivered by twin waiters, before voyaging finally to space, for petit fours of the future and coffee of the stratosphere.

Photography by Nathan Ceddia.