Photo credit: Keith Brame

Photo credit: Keith Brame

Photo credit: Keith Brame

Photo credit: Keith Brame


Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 1998

Inspired by Rabelais’ book Gargantua and Pantagruel, the production was initiated by a twelve-day devising period, followed by two weeks of writing and four weeks of rehearsal.

Such an extended period of creation meant that the piece became arguably the company’s most successful to date, winning great critical and popular acclaim. The piece was structured by the environment of an old bank, and the building itself became a living, breathing character.

We investigated the contemporary phenomenon of the working week and the weekend binge through the device of four grey-nosed clowns who then transformed into red noses and white costumes for a weekend of fleshy excess, celebrated through personal stories, texts from Rabelais and Isabel Allende and recipies.

Winner Scotsman Fringe First Award for New Writing 1998
Nominated Stage Award for Best Ensemble

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

a tingling combination of physical theatre, music and ravishing images- a place to glimpse heavens as well as hell.

Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph

the show is one of the most beguiling, atmospheric and touching I have ever seen in Edinburgh. . .a glorious celebration of life and human appetite.

Susannah Clapp, The Observer

visually inventive, verbally explosive. . .the episodes of Gargantua form an arc, one which rises from bleakness towards lusciousness and which finally sinks into wistfulness. . .it is urgent, inventive and expansive.

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

exquisitely staged in a descending series of magical tunnels and caverns. . .a show that is not only rude and exuberant, but also astonishingly beautiful.

Nick Curtis, Evening Standard

lip-smackingly, gob-smackingly original feast of delights. Gargantua is the big hit.