Dinner, Drag and Desserts

Photo Credit: Niall Walker

Yasmin Ali

Glasgow-based thespian Adrian Howells has temporarily re-branded The Arches Restaurant until end November as his alter ego’s ‘Adrienne’s Bar and Grill’. This was an extension from Howel’s theatre performance as part of the IETM Biennal Plenary Glasgow voices Artistic Programme, which featured 3 day run of live show ‘An Audience with Adrienne‘, with frank conversation, friendly banter and parlour games, served up tea and sympathy in Adrienne’s living room.

Part-installation, part-live performance art, the seventies styling of the space, complete with wallpaper, sideboard, and an array of props, puts a new spin on retrofitting. Adrienne’s seventies makeover also extends to the limited edition menu, which at £8.50 for 3 courses, including a glass of champagne, is at pre-Thatcher prices. The nostalgic selection features a choice of seventies favourites including Prawn Cocktail, Scampi and Chips and Trifle.

On selected nights, Adrienne was available to chat over dinner, and even offer recommendations on the menu. An amiable and congenial host, there was nothing pretentious in this let’s-play-pretend home dinner. Howel’s artfully makes the transition from performance piece to everyday life, playing on the pretence of the traditional dialectic between art and life, and raising questions regarding intimacy, strangers and conversation.

All-in-all, a warming experience, both from Adrienne’s welcome and the plates of hot soup which were a popular starter. Just what is needed to brighten a dreary November night.

Adrienne’s Bar and Grill decor remains until end November 2010. The Arches’ restaurant art installation and performance series will continue into 2011.

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