BUTCHERED, Underbelly Cowgate, Review

BUTCHERED - Moments to Media
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Expial Atrocious
The company (writers, composers, directors, choreographers, producers), Sophie Keeble (lighting designer / technical operator).
Ez Holland (Master Sausage), Nic Lawton (The Apprentice).
Running time

Oh chitterlings!  The generator has failed again, plunging the basement kitchen into darkness.  This is a place that smells of death, a kitchen where dreams come to die, workplace of Master Sausage who has put more than a little of themselves into it.

It’s a place of relentless daily grind, a bloody ballet of rhythmic movements as they pull, pound, sniff, and taste mystery meat, receiving orders from on high above.

But today they have been sent help in the shape of The Assistant, a fresh faced and wide-eyed ingénue and first impressions are not good.  While the Master is bound to the task, indebted to the established routine, doing whatever is asked and resistant to change, the Assistant sees a better way and an artistic escape from the established drudgery.

She wants to be a maker of things, an artistic visual translator of life through “wording” and painting and carving the veins into the arms of marble men.  Master Sausage however finds the gruesome galley a cave of wonders with its spice and gubbins and hallowed grinder, which is strong, consistent, all that might be wanted in life.

With no off switch the Assistant pushes the Master to consider what changes and choices forced them to this point where they can’t bear to hear it.

Excellent choreography, sound, and lighting design help to create a fully realised dark, dank fantastical world where time has little meaning.  There are challenges for the audience both with the horrific images and unearthly noises, but also in repeated and wordless sections that are held just too long for comfort.

This highly unusual absurdist, physical and visually vibrant piece is a thing of grim and offal beauty.

Show Times: 3 to 20 (not 14) August 2023 at 5.10pm.

Tickets: £11 (£10) to £12 (£11).

Suitability: 14+ (Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, scenes of violence, strobe lighting)