Since its debut in the Fringe, Post-Dining has been blurring the lines between food and interactive performance. This June, Post-Dining will return for the Winter Solstice with an immersive evening set to celebrate the darkest day of the year, and the return of light.
“It’s exciting for us to branch out into Adelaide outside of the festival months,” says Stephanie Daughtry, co-founder of Post-Dining along with Hannah Rohrlach. “Winter was especially interesting because often, I guess, Australians don’t really get excited about winter.”
This winter solstice edition of Post-Dining is the most ambitious yet, says Daughtry, as the event at Producer’s Bar will be “an evening in two parts”: an immersive, four-course dining experience, complete with its own live musical score for a limited set of people from 6.30pm, then a follow-up solstice celebration from 9pm, also accompanied by live music and food.
Since there isn’t much of a history of celebrating the winter solstice in Australia, Daughtry and Rohrlach are inspired by more ancient traditions from around the world. Their event will meld and translate these broad global traditions into an intriguing, yet digestible evening for patrons.
“We wanted to create an immersive experience that really embraces the darker and colder months,” Daughtry says. “The recurring themes at winter solstice are people coming together and sharing food during the longest night of the year, with well-wishing and gift-giving, but also that sense of anxiety about the darkness. We’ll play off a bit of that throughout the show with the music and performance, as well as create our own rituals that are inspired by the interplay of dark and light.”
Local band Juno will bring “beautiful harmonies, violin and percussion” to the initial dinner. “They’re designing their set especially for the dining, so that music will be part of the event, not just background noise, and will help construct the themes and narrative as people journey through each of the four courses.”
As for the food? Daughtry doesn’t want to give too much away because “we like to surprise people with our food,” but hints that “all of our courses will be constructed around traditional food and the seasonal produce that’s available to us during winter.”
These meals aren’t just designed to be eaten for consumption’s sake though. Daughtry says the trajectory of the evening will push attendees to become fully involved in the experience, not just passive observers.
“We’re really starting to push things further theatrically,” she says. “With this one we’re taking more risks than we have previously.”
The Post-Dining team, who will also be running events during the SALA and Open State Festivals, hope that this event will continue annually, too, and could even branch out into other seasonal celebrations.
“What’s exciting about this idea is that it’s really transferable to different themes,” Daughtry says. “If this one really kicks off, we’d love to make it an annual event and maybe expand. We’re really excited to feel like we’re pioneering new ground locally in this area and I feel like there’s a lot that we can do with it. It’s an exciting time.”
Post-Dining: Winter Solstice Festival 1.0
Friday, June 23, 6.30pm (dinner), 9pm (evening festival)
Tickets available via tickettailor.com