After a teaser-run this June and July, the unique show helmed by actor/writer/director Lily Bevan is back at the Trafalgar Studios for a longer tenure starting this Thursday. It's the perfect time to revisit our interview with Lily and remind anyone who didn't catch it first time around what they missed out on.
If you are looking for a show that little bit different then look no further than Celebrity Night at Café Red. Billed as an evening of love, of awkwardness, of danger and mime, the unique production marks writer Lily Bevan's first play and has already garnered a four star Time Out review who dubbed it "a classy, likeable exercise in polished surrealism".
Bevan's Osip Theatre Company previously played at the same venue over Christmas 2009 with her marvellously offbeat original pantomime Stephen and the Sexy Partridge. Celebrity Night at Café Red is back for another limited run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 20th September and 6th October. We caught up with Lily in the run up to the show's initial opening in late June so that she could shed some more light on her 'tasty black comedy'.
Hi Lily! This is your first comedy after helming your hilarious take on the traditional Christmas pantomime, Stephen and the Sexy Partridge. Tell us more about what people can expect from this show.
Still a black comedy, and a play, but this is Ionesco meets Allo Allo. We hope it's unique.
You're at the Trafalgar studios again - what drew you back to the venue?
Trafalgar Studios is professional, friendly and sparkly - and it has toilets unlike some of the Fringe spaces, we like having toilets.
You seem to have a particular talent for realising the surreal onstage, is realism overrated?
Yes! As Tennessee Williams says: 'Make voyages! Attempt them... there's nothing else.'
What are the themes at the heart of this piece?
Love, awkwardness, danger and mime
Ah yes, there is a mime artist featured in the show, how is this incorporated?
Our mime artist is key. You must come and watch to discover how.
What kind of audience would you say the show is geared towards?
Adults, as there's a bit of strong language occasionally. Those who like, or dislike France and/or chain restaurants.
And the cast?
They are my cast of dreams
The show has a French theme, would it be inappropriate for audience members to turn up with a string of onions round their neck?
We would love them for ever
Would it be safe to say there is nothing currently in the West End quite like this show?
Yes. And that would be the only thing about our show which is safe.
Any plans to take the show to further venues, or do you have other show ideas fermenting as we speak?
Oh yes, this show may make a comeback quite soon. And I hate Christmas so I have to be working then too..
Who has designed the show?
Emma & Giuseppe Belli, a genius married team who work on War Horse, at The Barbican, on Grange Park Opera design etc etc etc many amazing things
It's clearly a very visual piece, and you credit a movement director?
Yes, Jeremy Stockwell. He taught me and various cast members at RADA. He hails from Le Coq, we think he went to Hogwarts too. Very magic, very clever - he does a poetic mime of walking in the rain. Today in rehearsal he led the whole cast up the barricade of the revolution - in mime.
And lastly, how would you like your audience to feel on leaving the theatre?
Having seen Lily's previous show London Theatre Direct can certainly give its backing to this upcoming production. We're sure anyone who has a sense of fun and likes their shows with a bit of bite will certainly savour this tasty treat!
Book tickets for Celebrity Night At Cafe Red here