Old Testament panto

07 December 2017 | by Laura Gascoigne


Behind a table laden with golden vessels and exotic fruits stands an enraged potentate in a plumed turban, shaking his fist at a cringing velvet-clad courtier. Meanwhile an elegant young woman in tangerine satin extends a hand of entreaty across the table, dislodging a peacock pie – complete with feathers – that crashes to the floor, alarming her pet spaniel.

It is a scene so absurd it could have been dreamed up by Luis Buñuel, except that it anticipates the surrealist director’s films by three centuries.

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