If there’s one thing I love about The Vaults, London’s most versatile venue, is that every time I’m there, I feel like I’m in a whole different place. Home to some of the city’s most innovative and immersive productions, I’m a big fan. Especially when it involves food. Which, conveniently, Divine Proportions ticks all the boxes for.
Heading under the familiar Leake Street tunnel. I don’t know what I was expecting.
But it was marvellous, regardless.
Before being led through an opening a bit reminiscent of a giant vagina (!) to our seats, we got acquainted in the ‘Underworld’ downstairs. Armed with a cocktail menu and a lack of awareness of how early I needed to get up the next morning, I hit the bar….
First up, a mystical, gold-flecked Midas Touch – featuring mead, thyme-infused honey and gold dust, topped off with prosecco. This went down very easily, and I was soon back trying more.
The Cosmic Ruler (mezcal, vermouth, vodka, cherry brandy, vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate curls and a morello cherry drizzle) was inventive and delicious.
Want something to knock your socks off? Try one of the negronis, White or ClassicHell, because these badboys are stroooong.
The show begins downstairs, with an in-your-face introduction to the Maenads, three fabulous Greek sirens; and the ruling Dionysus, God of Pleasure and Mischief – who urges all in attendance to leave their labels at the door.
The resulting atmosphere is unabashed and uninhibited; with even the most retiring of audience members shaking their hips to camp classics and cheering wildly at the sexy, funny and enrapturing burlesque performances between courses.
Although the content was very different, the actual set-up of the event was pretty similar to the Evening of Meat show I went to earlier this year. We sat communally down long tables, with a stage area at the front that the performers used occasionally – but plenty of the action almost literally lands in your lap, too.
Did I mention, there was food involved? Aside from the ceviche course – which tasted like it had been left out for too long, and as a result was pretty terrible – the meal was an enjoyable one. Bread dipped in oil and balsamic vinegar was the perfect appetiser as we waited for the show to start; and at our seats, we nibbled on olives and artichoke hearts from ‘The Cornucopia’ (Horn of Plenty).
Pushing aside the ceviche starter, the main course consisted of a tender Guinea Fowl breast, served with potatoes, honey doused carrots, celeriac puree and Romanesco hearts, topped off with a rich red wine dressing. There’s definitely an element of simplicity which makes the well-thought out flavours shine through, and it’s a warming, welcome meal.
And for dessert, a white chocolate, coconut milk and honey ganache that delivered delicious sweetness – perfectly matched with some sharp pomegranate.
Featuring a cast of unapologetic, talented and bewitching females, this is the kind of evening best enjoyed with any inhibitions left checked in with your coats. If you like dining, drinking and dancing with a devilish dose of debauchery, Divine Proportions is a heavenly experience to savour.
Divine Proportions is at The Vaults (nearest tube: Waterloo) until 12th January, Tuesday-Sunday evenings. Tickets are priced from £35-£55 and available here.