Drawing: Dining with Marie Antoinette

Dining With Marie Antoinette

As you can see by the date on this sketch, it hasn’t happened yet. It is in fact a piece of history yet to take place and I am unashamedly promoting it. London has a long-standing tradition of ‘pub theatre’, incorporating the culinary and theatrical arts, in even longer-standing establishments across the English capital. Truc Vert is not a pub, but it’s about to become part of the tradition. It’s a restaurant, tucked away in Mayfair’s North Audley Street, described as “a little rustic oasis of artisan food and premium wines.” Named after the beach on France’s south west coast, it has the authentic ambience of one of the regions infamous fisherman’s huts and this Saturday it will host some French histrionics… and hospitality with an evening of ‘restaurant theatre’ entitled Dining With Marie Antoinette.

As history reveals, Marie Antoinette was the ill-fated Queen of France. She was a trendsetter, synonymous with big hair and even bigger dresses, who has become a pop culture icon and subject of numerous films, books and songs. Married into the French Royal family at fifteen she became a teen idol in her day and at one point attracted an uncontrollable crowd of 50,000 Parisians, resulting in 30 of them being crushed to death. (Note to self about the dangers of stalking). However, that popularity soon went belly-up when Marie A  became Queen at the age of 19, after her husband Louis-Auguste ascended the throne. By all accounts the multi-linguiled Austrian could sing and dance, but was a bit shortsighted when it came to spending on her lavish lifestyle and gambling habits. Actually she was shortsighted, physically as well. The upside of that according to one historian was that it “brought an enchanted, misty glimmer to her large, blue-grey eyes.” The very blue-grey eyes attached to her head that was detached from the rest of her body by the revolting peasants (later to be known as the French Revolution) who decided to cut off her credit with the guillotine at 12.15 pm on the 16th of October 1793. Just desserts for telling them to “eat cake”, a quote attributed to her by mistake. C’est la vie.

What more could the discerning diner want than tasty French cuisine with one of France’s most charismatic characters?  This is a quick sketch I drew of Katie Brennan, (Marie), Sam Taylor (Louis XVI) and director Amanda Dales during rehearsals last week. I didn’t get Maria A to sign. Apparently her handwriting is atrocious. So if you love food, theatre and a slice of history catch Marie Antoinette, live on 14 November.  Check out www.trucvert.co.uk for details.

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