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Culture Theatre

Review: EAT ME

CW: graphic language, mentions of cannibalism

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In a world where most of the things we think, eat, drink, put on, take off, smoke, or scrub on different parts of our skin are socially constructed, it is no wonder that our ideas of love are constructed around an idealised romanticised version of it. No matter how much our real-life experiences align with the socially accepted fantasy of love, most of us have at least once thought about meeting our soulmate while wandering around the city when cherry blossoms bloom; or about exchanging all-encompassing smiles in a totally-not-a-creepy way that would lead to a calm happily ever after.

EAT ME by Snap Elastic reminds us how this is far from the digitally mediated relationships of the consumerist 21st century. On the 30th and the 31st of January, three characters of the play: Prey, The Man, and Scylla, share their journey of understanding attraction, sexual fantasies, care, and the love they have for each other for sixty minutes on a stage of the Festival Theatre.

The play addresses unconventional love stories happening in liminal spaces online and offline. It is a product that is representative of the modern ways of identity production and relationships that sometimes transcend the physical world. With the help of script, lighting, and sound, the cast and crew transport the audience from the characters’ minds to the physical space around them and then to the dark web of the digital world.

This multilayered plot allows the play to present modern love as chaotic, unconventional, mediated by the laws of the digital world we are still adapting to, and as inherently linked to power and control.
With cannibalism as one of the play’s main themes, it does not come as a surprise that the audience is exposed to graphic content. As the name ‘Eat Me’ itself indicates – the characters find quite literally eating one another as a form of expression of love. They take their fantasies of eating to extremes, which sometimes leaves them overpowered and merciless. However, even in the moments of despair, of being dominated, the main character Prey says she ”feels infinite.” Although the way she mediates her relationships with the two she is attracted to might be unconventional, it does not seem that the play is giving up on love. It encourages us to explore new ways of doing love in our aggressively consumerist societies.

The show runs on Sunday 30th January 8pm and Monday 31st January 8pm at The Studio, Festival Theatre, 22 Potterrow, Edinburgh, EH8 9BL

Image: EAT ME, Courtesy of MANIPULATE Festival Press kit