Revenge served up on a plate at the Bonar Hall

Emily Winter and Tunji Lucas in a scene from 'Titus Andronicus'. (Picture by Tommy Ga-Ken Wan.)
Emily Winter and Tunji Lucas in a scene from 'Titus Andronicus'. (Picture by Tommy Ga-Ken Wan.)

Theatre-goers in the north east are being treated to a feast of surprises when they turn up to see one of Shakespeare’s most violent plays at Dundee Rep Theatre’s Bonar Hall.

Historical tragedy ‘Titus Andronicus’ takes on a modern day twist when it is transformed to the world of the celebrity chef at Dundee Rep, with cast members cooking in real time throughout the performance.

The epic joint production by Dundee Rep Ensemble and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is directed by internationally renowned Scottish designer and director of theatre and opera, Stewart Laing, who won a Tony Award in 1997 for his work on the musical ‘Titanic’.

Blairgowrie-born actor George Anton takes on the role of Titus Andronicus, while award-winning Scottish actor, director and writer Alison Peebles plays the role of Marcia.

With a break from tradition, the play is performed in the theatre’s Bonar Hall, where the seating is in the style of a restaurant.

The production is immersive, with the audience being fed by the actors, who have been advised on all aspects of kitchen, service and cooking by Sandy Cooney, head chef at Dundee Rep’s Encore brasserie.

JD Twitch, renowned Glasgow DJ and owner of the city’s hugely popular Optimo club, takes on the musical direction and sound design of the production.

The new adaptation of the play is the work of Philip Howard, joint artistic director at Dundee Rep; it tells the story of Titus Andronicus, who returns to Rome - a restaurant - after fighting in war.

His soldiers swap their army uniforms for chefs’ whites and work begins to re-open Rome for business.

Titus runs the restaurant with regimental precision, but politics from home are never far away.

Philip said: “‘Titus Andronicus’ is the latest play in Dundee Rep’s season of work with the theme of revenge. We wanted to investigate a little-known Shakespeare play and totally re-imagine it for a contemporary audience. At the centre of this collaboration is Stewart Laing, the director and designer, one of Scotland’s most thrilling theatre artists.

“We hope audiences will see all three major productions in our revenge season and enjoy making the links between the shows.”