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Published 4 February 2013

Surely one of London’s hippest theatres, the Young Vic is thriving on the back of ambition, dynamism and risk-taking.

Last month it won Critics’ Circle awards for a modern take on Chekhov, a reinvention of one of Ibsen’s most famous heroines and the staging of an ‘unstageable’ novel.

It opens 2013 with another epic show of global ambition.

Staged in a co-production with the Royal Court as part of World Stages London, Feast tracks the growth, spread and change in Yoruba culture, from its West African home through the slave trade to Brazil, Cuba, the US and the UK, across oceans and through centuries.

If it sounds a little like a humanities lesson, well, maybe that’s not too far wide of the multi-sensory mark.

The story is a loose one, opening up gateways and possibilities for cultural exploration rather than character development or a rich narrative arc.

Three sisters refuse food to an old man who is passing the time with his chicken at a crossroads. Given that he is dressed all in red with a wicked glint in his eye, this seems a mistake as silly as repeating ‘Candyman’ while gazing into a mirror. It turns out the crimson one is the Yoruba deity Esu, the trickster, and by way of punishment he scatters the siblings through space and time, hence the trip around cultures.

Written by five playwrights – Yunior García Aguilera (Cuba), Rotimi Babatunde (Nigeria), Marcos Barbosa (Brazil), Tanya Barfield (USA) and Gbolahan Obisesan (UK) – Feast provides an authentic voice for each region and evolution, but suffers the same issues of inconsistency that all multi-authored pieces tend to; some sections clearly outshine others, some stories feel barely told, the others over-egged.

Though narrative is not its strongest point, director Rufus Norris ensures Feast provides a banquet for the senses. Mesmerising dance, from tribal to modern, samba to breakdance, is as integral to the storytelling as text, George Céspedes’ choreography setting tone and aiding transition. The onstage band, switching from mournful slave laments to hip-notising South American rhythms, ease the action along, while Katrina Lindsay’s design, which includes corn-headed tribes people and a human dressing table, is inventive and engaging.

Former Olivier Award winner Noma Dumezweni brings weight and subtlety to the character of Yemaya, the oldest sister, the same but different in every situation, and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is irresistible as the trickster and eminently enjoyable when he, like the rest of the cast, takes on multiple roles throughout the show.

A word of warning, though. Eat before you Feast. When the show reaches its denouement of family gatherings around the world, it may have been my imagination, but I’m sure the aroma of South American supper wafted temptingly through the auditorium. No-one wants to hear the rumblings of a jealous stomach drowning out Feast’s remarkable musicians.



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Due to the current pandemic various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows. Please bear with us as we try to keep this page as up to date as possible. If you find a mistake, please let us know by emailing enquiries@soltukt.co.uk. If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

For more than 40 years, TKTS was our on-the-day theatre ticket box office in Leicester Square. Currently closed due to the current situation, we are now selling our great last minute seats and prices online. Click here to learn more.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.