So, I’ve been working on a semi-quasi-somewhat secret project and it’s finally time to announce it and waffle on about it for a bit. Let’s preface this by saying I really like theatre. It’s cool. I also really like food. It’s also cool. I do a bit of work for a restaurant in Mayfair called Truc Vert and when they mentioned to me that it would be fun to bring some performance art into to the restaurant I jumped at the idea and contacted a few of my acting friends straight away for a chance to drill into their brains…
Amanda, the stunner from Rhyme and Ribbons came through, soon enough we had recruited Katie “bloody hell” Brennan and Amanda’s fiance Sam to the fold and we had a Marie Antoinette themed night planned for the 14th November. How it became Marie Antoinette themed I don’t quite remember, but it probably had something to do with my insatiable lust for cake.
I’ve never really been that interested in Marie Antoinette (I know some people are obsessed) I just heard the rumour that she was a spoiled brat twat, took it as gospel and got on with life. Well, I’ve been reading about her for a few weeks now and my interest has been piqued. I wrote this piece for Truc Vert about the Queen’s foodie loves, but there’s all kinds of interesting shit going on with Ms Antoinette. Such as:
- The 18th century French loved to watched their monarchs doing stuff. They used to let random (posh) people off the street into the palace just to crowd around and watch them eat. This was weird enough, but they also thought it would be a great idea to let folks watch the Queen give birth. Yah. In a period of time where being a woman and showing someone your ankles could have you labelled a filthy whore, it was perfectly acceptable for the King’s wife to do the most primal vajayjay taxing activity there is surrounded by strangers. Rumour has it that so many people crowded into the room at the birth of her eldest child that Marie Antoinette was almost crushed. It was probably just suffocatingly hot and she fainted, but still, it was enough for the tradition to fall out of fashion
- Marie Antoinette was 14 (almost 15) when she married the Dauphin de France. That’s fancy French lingo for “bloke who’s in line to become King”. He too was only 15 at the time. They had never even met each other before marriage and it was more of a political alliance between France and Austria. Hell, they never actually met each other on their wedding day. Marie was married by proxy in a church in Vienna where her brother stood in for the groom. Her brother. I don’t have siblings or anything but that sounds like a Freudian nightmare. Luckily, this was a hundred years before Freud was even born. Phew.
- What happens when two teenage strangers are forced into marriage for political reasons that involves a wedding to one’s own brother? They don’t fuck. When Marie finally hauled ass over to Versailles a month or so after the “wedding”, they had another ceremonial wedding (basically an excuse for a big party). Then came the “ritual bedding”. Frankly I’m shocked they didn’t invite everyone in to watch. It may have been better if they had, because they could have given them some handy pointers. Such as, handle it until it becomes pointy then point it. They didn’t figure it out for seven bloody years, during which time everyone sat around judgmentally staring at Marie’s empty uterus. Finally, Marie’s brother, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph, came to visit and made a point about being all nosy and blunt about what the hell was going on. He basically told the (now) King, “for Christ’s sake bone my sister”. May have not been those exact words, but I’m writing in English so that’s to be expected. Let’s just hope there was no “boning by proxy” because the King and Queen went on to have four children. They just needed a little encouragement.
- It was hugely fashionable at the time to for stylish women to signal that they were “just a little bit saucy” by publicly displaying a nipple, maybe even both nipples. I think in the same way today as one would wear hot pants, show a little bit of bottom or some side boob, they showed nipple. Dresses were very low cut and cleavage was huge, I’m guessing without the aid of that Hollywood magic tape tits were flying out accidentally in every direction. So they just made it a thing. Fashion plates from the era clearly show nipples that have purposefully been displayed. I don’t just mean a little bit of cheeky areola, either. I mean full on stick-it-in-your-mouth-and-suck-it-like-an-infant nipple. Here’s a link. #FreeThe Nipple
Amanda has put together some scenes from the life of Marie Antoinette with the help of Katie and Sam. I have no idea what they entail. Apparently there’s food and a few laughs. Truc Vert have put together a three course meal with champagne based on Marie Antoinette’s foodie preferences. I have some idea that this involves croissants and chocolate. It’s going to be a great night. However, if no one gets their nipples out don’t complain to me. I won’t be refunding you.
You can buy tickets here, or by contacting the restaurant directly to avoid that nasty booking fee.