The Jewel of the Empire review at Pedley Street Station, London – ‘enjoyable immersive dining experience’
The Pedley Street Station venue has been operating for a year now, delivering theatrical dining experiences on board a fake Pullman carriage in a Bethnal Green railway arch.
Each new menu features an immersive show designed to complement the meal, though the star of the show has always been the food. This iteration features no less than Laurence Henry, the winner of Professional Masterchef 2018, delivering a first-class chicken dinner.
Producers Funicular are slowly improving in terms of style and content of its shows. On this occasion, the train is bound for the fictitious seaside town of Murder in the south of France. On board is a rare diamond, the Jewel of the Empire, bigger than a bear’s paw and, of course, cursed. Travelling with the gem are a selection of Cluedo-style characters. When a dead body is discovered just before Calais, the French Secret Service is called in to solve the crime.
As Funicular develop its brand, the productions have become more outrageous and more immersive. Robert Saunders injects some camp into proceedings as the gregarious Vera Valentine, while Tanya Truman, as Russian ex-ballerina Saskia Selicon, vamps her way from crisis to crisis. It all makes for stylish, if silly, fun, sharply scripted by Craig Wilkinson and smoothly directed by Ed Borgnis.
On this evidence Funicular is becoming one the most consistent players in the increasingly crowded immersive dining market.
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