Some might call it poor taste. Some might call it an act of expedience before the latest VAT comes in.
We’d call it a deliciously canny and waggish merchandising ploy.
The Whingers love to fill a few minutes taking in the finest in the shops at theatres. Themed products always amuse us. Singin’ in the Rain is offering a range of branded umbrellas, Phantom of the Opera markets a magic mug which when filled with a hot drink sees the Phantom’s white mask magically appear and most musicals have the usual CDs, T-shirts and key rings you’d expect, though at least in Sweeney Todd a key is crucial to the plot.
Occasionally this is taken just that little bit further. The Menier’s Abigail’s Party is serving pre-show 70s meals including chicken Kiev and fondue (as different courses we presume). And of course the Whingers were seduced into parting with their cash last year when at Frankenstein a smoking green cocktail called The Experiment went on sale in the National’s bar.
But the Sweeney Todd people have probably come up with the best one yet. In keeping with show’s grisly cannabalistic plot the bars at the Adelphi theatre are selling “Mrs Lovett’s Bleedin’ Hot Pies”. And they do indeed bleed. Quite literally.
Cut into the succulent gravy through the pie’s velvety and wavy crust and ‘blood’ seeps out. Well, with health and safety restrictions being what they are it’s understandably not real blood but ketchup. They’re messy but not oily and sadly they’re not served with a doily so your hands might get smeary dearies. Unsurprisingly the Whingers had to try them.
Fortunately there’s no other theming of the ingredients, so don’t expect to find sawdust, fingernails, pussycats or Royal Marines in them; 100% natural ingredients according to the wrappers. There’s a meat one and an off-topic vegetarian version available which, as Andrew won’t go near anything that’s even touched meat, meant we had to try them both. And how delicate, luscious and ambrosial they are too, not bad taste after all. But we do wonder what Mr Sondheim makes of it all.
Perhaps the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where One Man, Two Guvnors is now playing could serve hummus in a cricketer’s box or if Naked Boys Singing rears its head again we might see sausages sandwiched between buns on display.
Seems a downright shame, seems an awful waste if these pies are confined to the Adelphi. Perhaps they’ll catch on in the world out there and we’ll see Imelda Staunton as Mrs Lovett spearheading the advertising campaign.
Mrs Lovett’s Bleeding Hot Pies are at the Adelphi Theatre for a price of £5 each and if the show doesn’t run beyond its current booking period (until Sept 22nd) will narrowly and fortuitously escape October’s new “Hot Pie Tax” on products “above ambient air temperature when provided to the customer”.
Maybe it was something in the best pies in London or the ambient air that scrambled our thoughts more than ever to notice that Adelphi Theatre is an anagram of Helipad Theatre, so we believe this playhouse would be just the place to see more choppers on display with a revival of Miss Saigon. But then it also rearranges into The date? April, eh! If you get it…
Ask for them at the bar if you want to make an arse of yourself and eat it too.