Forget Alice, this wonderland’s for adults

The creepy meets the beautiful meets the delicious in Republique’s latest theatre production, an elaborate Icelandic-Danish ‘food theatre’ collaboration, described as a “Nordic food expedition”. This, however, doesn’t come close to capturing the enrapturing three-and-a half hour experience that is like an all-out assault on the senses, delving into Old Norse mythology and the story of earth’s creation and destruction.

The evening begins at Dansehallerne, where guests are met with a glass of champagne, the first of a nine-course wine menu (lightweights beware!). We are introduced to our guides, an old woman and a young girl, one wise and the other innocent, who are to lead us from the world’s creation through the fires of the Earth’s end, also known as Ragnarok.

The staging throughout the journey is spectacular – Loki’s banquet scene, our next destination and the most bombastic part of the production, boasts what has to be the most exquisite table setting (a Viking-style long table made entirely out of old books, with lit candles and tree stumps for chairs) this reviewer has ever laid eyes on.

As we are welcomed by the enigmatic Loki (Morten Burian) to his “temple of knowledge”, his nymphs emerge dancing from behind pillars and take us by the hand to seat us, serve us, and feed us a most luscious feast (highlights included glazed pork, flæskestej and oysters). It’s the Alice and Wonderland tea party you’ve been dreaming of since childhood, but this time the Mad Hatter is a wondrously hedonistic god of mischief who urges you to drink and be merry while distributing passionate lip-to-lip kisses to both guests and actors (both female and male). Meanwhile, roasted fennel arrives in antique-looking book boxes while the nymphs, who suddenly all answer to Mimi, join you for the meal and make sure your wine-glass is always full, and your plate never empty.

All this merriment comes to an end, however, when Loki tricks a blindfolded guest into killing the god Baldr. This, we are told, is the start of Ragnarok, the end of the world, and we are duly taken to the depths of Carlsberg’s brewery and dropped off at the gateway to hell for a host of chilling yet stunning experiences.

Throughout our theatrical journey, ‘culinary artist’ Mette Sia Martinussen offers creative foods in innovative combinations that aptly, and sometimes disturbingly, mirror the theatrics. At the world’s creation we are served a bright yellow egg yolk resembling the sun with a pearly pink langoustine. Deep in Ragnarok, my formerly jolly nymph Mimi, now a bloodstained mess, stretches her hand out from behind a fence of burning flames and hands me a lollipop she’s collected from one of the many hanging corpses behind her. It’s made of warm goat’s cheese and the sugar coating crackles in my mouth.

The programme later revealed that the delicate gourmet cold cuts at Loki’s decadent feast were smoked pig’s tongue and the delicious sourdough rolls were spiced with pig’s blood.

Fall into the rabbit hole and get lost in a wonderland of Nordic myth. You’ll leave with a full belly, a mind enchanted by folklore, and if you’re anything like this reviewer, a new-found crush on the god of mischief.

The Seeress’ Prophecy