A Moral Theatrical Thoughts

9 February 2008

What is the real price of art? Five members of the cast of this week’s ADC mainshow have been cruelly under -recognised. While some of Cambridge’s favourite thesps have been sweating it out on stage, enraptured in the pain of post-modern existence, a handful of live lobsters have been reportedly held fridge-bound, painfully awaiting their fifteen seconds of fame.

Arguably, a lobster always looks like a lobster, dead or alive, so Dinner‘s decision to use live lobsters as props seems unnecessary and frankly gimmicky. Yes, it makes for a sadistically fun, quirky prop, but a live lobster brings nothing more to a show than a plastic one. Indeed, a little more effort on the part of the actors to give the impression of live lobsters could have easily solved the issue. It’s what you do with your lobster that counts.

Lobsters are one of not very many animals which, served up on a plate, or swimming and scuttling, look a lot like they’re made out of plastic anyway. If they’ve been in a theatre’s fridge or in a tank their metabolisms will be slowed down, so they will not move much. A cheap plastic impersonation would put on just as good a show. The crustaceans’ company would be just as exciting had they already expired humanely, and better companions still if made out of rubber.

It seems particularly unfair to invite these lobsters to Dinner five nights running, fish them in and out of the cold and bandy them about on stage. It’s a very good recipe for food poisoning and more importantly, really miserable lobster.