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19 December 2006
Very merry menu

Fiona Mountford: Evening Standard * * * * *

Are you upper, middle or lower class? Or, perhaps more importantly, which do you think would be most fun? Duckie, those delightful Olivier-Award winning entertainment anarchists, demand that you consider your social mobility and buy a ticket, valid for one glorious Christmas dinner, accordingly.

For £14.99, the lower classes get carvery 'n' karaoke; £40 secures four courses of silver service, which of course befitted your reviewer from London's quality newspaper. Welcome to adult-style festive entertainment, where the only thing behind you is a whole wealth of status anxiety.

The Class Club does, of course, make for a terribly knowing evening. For starters - or should I say for canapés? - audience members are invited to dress up or down as their selection dictates.

What a deliciously decadent night's theatre it made to don a little black dress and sup champagne and nibbles, before sitting down to smoked salmon, roast pheasant, figgy pudding and cheese and biscuits, all served by actors playing the waiting staff. Chef Tom Norrington-Davies, who devised the menus, has done his diners proud.

Indubitably, the working class has most fun in Vito Rocco and Mark Whitelaw's exuberant production. With paper hats and raffle prizes, that side of the dividing curtain - tantalisingly one hears, rather than sees, the other orders for much of the performance - certainly had the kneesuppiest time. The poor old middle class looked glum in its gastro pub.

Amid all the performer-led carousing, there is, of course, the unsettling sensation that our own lives, preconceptions and modes of behaviour are the real stars of the evening, that we, as well as the actors, work daily from a script that we probably had no hand in writing. Quite the jolliest, most thought-provoking and, yes, classiest December outing.

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