(Mark Fisher’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/13.)
We’re seated along the vast bleached-wood tables of a warehouse-style restaurant. There are strip lights overhead, sous-chefs busying themselves on the aluminium tops of an open kitchen and an enormous neon sign reminding us we’re dining in a joint called Rome. The crisp club beats of JD Twitch add to the atmosphere of minimalist cool, even though the wall lined with military portraits suggests a more sinister discipline at play.
By the end of Shakespeare’s gore-fest, several more faces will be added to the gallery of dead generals. Likewise, the knives being used to chop onions will have sliced into human flesh and the kitchen staff’s mobiles will have relayed Isis-style footage of executions. We watch like expectant diners, plates and menus in front of us, realising that the clean surfaces and slick table service mask a violence that is clinical, amoral and brutal.