Opera preview: Pass the Spoon @ Tramway, Glasgow

Published by METRO

I’m taken back to fond memories of watching an old children’s TV show as I gaze over the cast of Pass The Spoon. One character is called Mr Egg, another The Banana, and the piece is set in a kitchen. Any allusions to my early childhood, however, are greatly compromised from the moment I notice the writer credit – David Shrigley.

The artist, famed for his surrealist cartoons and drawings, has acquired a dedicated following in Glasgow since he graduated from the city’s School of Art 20 years ago. And indeed, the result of his bizarre but brilliant imagination’s latest creation is one that will not disappoint any of his fans.

Teaming up with respected director Nicholas Bone, award-winning composer David Fennessy and exciting contemporary music group Red Note Ensemble, Shrigley tonight takes his darkly comic talents to the stage.

Musical, opera or melodrama, Pass The Spoon is a predictably quirky affair that takes place in the studio of a daytime cookery programme. The hosts, June Spoon and Philip Fork, work with ordinary ingredients that take on extraordinary personas as they’re used to make a dish for sinister show guest Mr Granules.

Originally conceived back in 2008, the project is being staged by Edinburgh-based company Magnetic North – acclaimed for productions such as Walden, which went on two national tours.

Although this is his first piece of theatre, Shrigley is no stranger to dabbling in art forms other than the picture-postcards for which he is most decorated. He’s also authored many books, created animated shorts, released a spoken word album and directed music videos for Blur and Bonnie Prince Billy during his colourful career.

The Macclesfield-born artist may have exhibited his work around the world, but he’s treating only Glasgow – the city that trained him – to this one.