The Vaults at Waterloo has a revolving door of left-field productions, but this is the best use of the space I’ve seen, with real attention to detail in the creation of Mr and Mrs Twit’s macabre domain, from the glue-coated bird-catching tree to the tortuous Muggle-Wump circus.
The characters are vividly brought to life by a game cast of comic actors, whose interaction with the audience is either hilarious or cruel, depending on where you’re sitting. They spin a yarn that takes liberties with the material but stays true to its mischievous spirit.
But the experience is let down by a presumably unintentional meta-layer of irony: the food that looks disgusting but is actually edible really is disgusting and, often, inedible. You’re invited to grab a handful of noodles from a writhing sack of “worms” that I’d hazard taste worse than the real thing. A pot of UV “glue soup” has the consistency and culinary appeal of wallpaper-paste.
This would be excusable if the event were aimed at kids, who will shovel any old rubbish into their mouths, but it’s for adults and tickets cost between £80-100 each. For that price, I expect my revolting food to be delightful.