Wrapped in an imposing white feather mantle, Adam Perchard is the enigmatic narrator of a new theatrical-meets-gourmet interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein being performed in London on three nights this month (November 15, 21 and 29; from £125). Billed as a “daring new immersive dinner party”, the gothic tale is being delivered with a bold blend of burlesque and dark comedy to an intimate audience at Kensington’s Gore hotel, the candlelit basement of which is being transformed into Victor Frankenstein’s castle. As the drama unfolds, guests sit around an opulently laid table and are served a six-course feast by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche.
The illusion of moving in a gothic parallel world begins upon arrival, with a personal introduction to Dr Frankenstein. Over mouthfuls of caviar canapés, braised duck and grapefruit sorbet, 24 guests are transported to the frozen plains of the North Pole, where Frankenstein begins to tell his story, and on to the woods of England, where the harrowing hunt for his creature is interrupted by the news of its treacherous murders.
The story is superbly unravelled, but it is the eerie ambience that truly entices. Each costume is a story in itself, from the mirrored sequin bodysuits of the dancers embodying the stormy sea to the fluttering cotton shirt worn by the ever-more-distraught Victor Frankenstein. Elsewhere, an artist stationed by the staircase to paint portraits draws guests into the drama, as does a horse-drawn carriage ride home.
It’s delightfully dark – and at the same time rather dazzling.