Immersive theatre has been on the scene for a while now, but its impact is slowly seeping into other areas of entertainment. With experience being the most dominant currency for Millennials, established brands and start-ups are looking for ways to elevate their products to suit this experimental consumer. How better to do this than to make your service or product immersive.
Forza Win are a catering team who specialise in Italian cuisine using seasonal British ingredients. “What’s so special about that?”, we hear you say. Forza Win are different. For a start their attitude is energetic, bordering on a forceful hustle. Young and urban in their approach, in place of an ‘About’ section on their website, you can instead read about them in their ‘Our Ting’ link. This is indicative of their humble beginnings in one corner of a converted warehouse in Peckham.
‘We make communal banqueting hall style events based around food, where everyone eats one big meal. They’re generally hard to find, but once you get there, you’ll spend your time eating (mainly), drinking and dancing. Generally embracing the good things in life.’ according to the Forza Win website.
It has now popped up for a limited run as part of the Vault Festival in the graffiti covered, dungeon-like, cultural space tucked away under London Waterloo station. Let us introduce you to its new endeavour – Marco’s Meatballs. The premise being: “Toni is dead. It’s a fast paced game this restaurant world. Toni’s nephew, Marco, has ‘inherited’ Toni’s and has inventively renamed the place ‘Marco’s.”
We were welcomed at the door by a body being carried out of the ‘restaurant’ (a scaffolded, mezzanine floor above the more permanent bar below, which was re-enforced with some chip-board panels) in which we were about to dine – this was the recently deceased Toni. With red and white gingham everywhere and a flowered name ready for a funeral, we were very much ‘immersed’ into the concept. The menu was delightedly short; literally the word ‘Meatballs’ on one page and ‘Wine’ on the other.
Meanwhile a team of three actors heckled, cajoled and pranced their way through the strict one-hour seating session. One poor waiter even had a bowl of spaghetti thrown over his head! There are three sittings a night so he must be picking out pasta from his parts permanently.
The setting was raw and exciting, the service was brusk and kinetic. The meal, unfortunately, was a bit average considering the £17 (upfront) that it cost. We left still hungry for more and without a real conclusion to the Toni versus Marco narrative that had played itself out around us. Even so, we’ll still be visiting the Vaults again soon for the next experience.
Blog written by Bella.