The REP is a theatre staple in Brum, sharing stories about this city and it’s people. It’s impact is local, national, European and global and I love that the productions are all made in Birmingham. Over the years, The REP has created some brilliant productions and I’ve been a regular theatre-goer because sometimes you just gotta get that culture fix.
This year is no exception with The REP bringing Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones to the stage and town. The Lovely Bones tells the story of young girl Susie Salmon, who is just like any other girl. Except, Susie is dead. Susie can only observe while her family cope with their grief in their different ways. The show took us on an engaging journey of dream sequences, nostalgia and had some great laugh-out-loud moments.
What I hadn’t anticipated was the great pre-theatre food being knocked out in the adjoining restaurant, Marmalade. It’s only recently I’ve got into having a pre-theatre meal at the actual theatre and I am here for it. Not only is it relaxing and stress-free but it makes you feel all bougie. And I’m all about that bougie queen chill life. I mean, I even have a Spotify playlist of the same name. Look it up. Joke. Don’t- it’s totally embarrassing.
Marmalade is modern, light and comfortable with big sharing benches, smaller cosy tables nestled in big glass windows and an outdoor terrace overlooking the fountains of Centenary Square. It’s peak people-watching territory and I love it.
The menu has been revamped, offering a price point of £19.50 ahead for 2 courses or £24.50 ahead for 3 courses courses, it’s great value and there is so much choice. We start with a generous portion of Calamari- meaty, fleshy squid in golden and crispy batter and a side of saffron aioli.
Warm bread with olive oil, a thick balsamic glaze and a roasted garlic bulb comes next and we polish the lot off.
On to the mains and the menu is extensive for a pre-theatre set menu. The Blade of Beef is my plate of dreams. The beef is tender, cooked beautifully and sits on top of wilted spinach and a lightly crispy potato rosti. The peppercorn sauce is creamy, has a slight peppery kick and soaks into the rosti and completely elevates this dish. This is one of the best dishes I’ve had in ages and I’ll be coming back for this alone. The only thing I’d have liked is the choice of the sauce coming on the side so I could decide how much I wanted on my plate. We also order Steamed Pak Choi with ginger and garlic and it comes with a slight crunch- it’s delicious.
We also order the Gourmet Stack Burger which is made up of two juicy patties packed in a charcoal bun. It’s some good beef but is such a huge portion, there’s almost too much going on. The charcoal bun doesn’t really work and I’d have preferred a standard white bun- food dickery is not required when it comes to burgers. The same applies to bricoche buns- nah.
Despite our preferences when it comes to burgers, The food at The REP was really good for a pre-theatre menu and I’ll definitely be coming back. The service was friendly, attentive and really fast- we were seated at 6pm and made the show with time to spare.
*Thanks to The REP, I was invited to try the food and watch Lovely Bones complimentary. As always my opinions are my own.*