Luca Silvestrini’s Protein presents: May Contain Food


For the first time online, Protein will be presenting the original May Contain Food, a witty piece of dance and music theatre that will provoke thinking on the sensory, cultural and social implications of food.

Filmed at The Place in 2016, four vocalists and four dancers all sing for their supper, whilst at home audiences can follow along by preparing and indulging in a tasting menu just like the dining audience in the recording. Some courses feature simple ingredients such as a cherry tomato and a ball of rice, whilst adventurous audiences seeking a full sensory experience can have a go at Orlando Gough’s own recipe of aromatic sticky ginger pudding to bake during the viewing and consume at the end. The show will be accompanied by an introduction from choreographer Luca Silvestrini and composer Orlando Gough and on the 12th February, a live chat room will be available for those who wish to converse with the pair over supper.

From savouring simplicity, to the communal act, to touching on the moral dilemma of vegetarianism, the show weaves through the cultural significance of eating. Luca Silvestrini and Orlando Gough collaborated closely so that all movement is composed and music choreographed and performed a cappella, creating an immersive experience of indulgence, nostalgia and mischief. The show originally toured in 2016, and the adapted versions May Contain Food May Contain You and May Contain You toured to village halls and care homes in the following years. Food, an acclaimed Italian adaptation of May Contain Food May Contain You produced in 2018 by Marche Teatro has been touring throughout Italy.

Speaking about the show Luca Silvestrini said: “Screening May Contain Food, as an opportunity to literally taste a show from home, has been in my thoughts since the first lockdown in 2020. So here we are, the show is served, and I really hope people will enjoy prepping, cooking and tasting our thought provoking and delicious food-based show from the comfort of their homes.”

Helen Wallace, Artistic Director at Kings Place said: “We are so delighted to host May Contain Food on our KPlayer streaming platform, an ideal sensory feast for audiences during lockdown, combining the ear-tingling vocal music of Orlando Gough, the beguiling choreography of Silvestrini – and sticky ginger pudding!”

Formed in 1997 and currently one of the most distinctive voices in British dance theatre, Luca Silvestini’s Protein uses a blend of original choreography, humour and music to entertain and provoke audiences. The company’s idiosyncratic dance theatre is provoked by the everyday and its repertoire includes the award-winning LOL (lots of love), which has toured extensively since its 2011 debut, Border Tales, which peels back stereotypes about multicultural Britain, and the award-winning The Little Prince. Protein was awarded the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Dance Company 2011 and was nominated again in 2016.

Orlando Gough is a composer (and sometimes lyricist, librettist, music director, MC, recording engineer, cookery writer), who writes operas, choral music, music-theatre, music for dance and theatre, and creates large-scale site-specific work.

Kings Place is a multi-arts venue, situated within 5 minutes’ walk of King’s Cross-St Pancras, presenting an adventurous and award-winning programme, with words and music at its heart. It takes in three concert halls, Pangolin London sculpture gallery, Pangolin’s Kings Place Gallery, Green & Fortune Café and the canal-side Rotunda Restaurant. Working to a collaborative model, the venue curates regular series and festivals with a host of artistic associates throughout the year. It’s a place where many audiences belong, a place where people connect with their passion and no-one is lost in the crowd.

Kings Place was developed from a generous act of philanthropy; world-class conferences support the independently-funded arts programme. Driven by a belief that arts and culture are a fundamental part of a thriving city, the venue presents work that is as vibrant and diverse as its location.

Kings Place has Good to Go accreditation as a Covid-safe venue and operated socially-distanced events successfully during 2020. The venue is currently running a digital programme on its KPlayer platform.

Kings Place, the cultural pulse of King’s Cross.

Running Time: 90 mins | Suitable for ages 12 + (contains mild swearing)

Listings info

12th February 7pm, available until midnight 21st February


Company Information

Conceived and created by Luca Silvestrini and Orlando Gough

Devised and performed by

Sonya Cullingford, Martin George, Carl Harrison, Michael Henry, Saara Hurme, Donna Lennard, Louise Sofield, Matthew Winston

Additional material devised by

Jeremy Avis, Sara Black, Jonathan Glew, Antonia Grove, Sally Marie, Melanie Pappenheim, Peter Willcock, Jonathan Williams

Directed by Luca Silvestrini

Music by Orlando Gough

Designed by Yann Seabra

Lighting by Jackie Shemesh

Music Director Michael Henry

Assistants to the Director Eryck Brahmania, Valentina Golfieri

Production Manager Rachel Shipp

Assistant Stage Manager Amy McLean

Recipes Orlando Gough

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