feature: interview with mam sham!
This week, we caught up with supper club dream team, Mam Sham. Rhiannon Butler and Maria Georgiou are the masterminds behind the London based 'good grub + lols' event. Last month, we saw their 'Girl on Girl' supper club take place at Oval Space with a group of Masterchef finalists feeding the diners food inspired by the hosting comedians. Maria and Rhiannons events are carefully curated to give the audience a joy ride of comedy mixed with experimental dining options. You can keep updated with all future events by following @mam_sham_ here. Check out the full interview below. Where did the idea of Mam Sham come from?
Pretty much from chatting about the kind of things we wanted to do. We’re both from London and there are heaps of food based or theatrical events about, but there was always something missing for us. We wanted to create something that would combine high quality food and big laughs, and that’s it, putting it simply ‘good grub + lols’.
Please describe the Mam Sham concept?
We are a food and booze peddling creative duo who, largely, produce interactive events in which we combine food + comedy. Our events follow the prototype of 3 courses inspired by 3 comedy acts. For example, we once had a guy do a mock erotic reading at our Valentine’s Day shubz ‘Eat Your Heart Out’, it was a ballad about a lonely woman who orders delivery so she can seduce and make-out with the delivery boy. For that course everything was brought out in true take-away style. Think screen-printed paper bags, curry in foil containers, stock imagery menus, salad in plastic bags…the whole shebang. We work with some amazing guest chefs to produce delicious dishes that also bring the performance to the plate.
What is the secret to hosting a successful supper club?
It’s totally down to your idea of success and who you’re catering for. For us, success is creating something where people are going to have more fun eating, drinking, laughing and chatting than they’ve had in a long time.
Twayna Mayne, Esther Manito and Harriet Braine were the three comedians contributing hilarious entertainment at the last supper club. Where did the partnership between food and comedy come from?
Some of the funniest gals in the business there. Like we said, it’s basically combining our two favourite things. Food is so creative, and adding the element of comedy changes the whole dynamic and encourages people to experience food in a completely different way.
What challenges did you face when starting a supper club?
Just the masses of success, it’s hard to stay humble ya know. We joke. Probably being in the same category but not associating with the abundance of ‘immersive events’ popping up everywhere in London. Creative integrity is huge to us, we want to stay authentic and true to our beliefs and differentiate from mass-produced events.
All the proceeds from the last event went to the Refugee Women’s Centre. Talk to us a little bit about why this was important to Mam Sham.
It’s a bit of a no-brainer for us to do charitable events, there are so many connections in the circuit to collaborate with amazing talent for amazing causes. Refugee Women’s Centre are a group of incredible women who work with vulnerable women in Refugee Centres, largely in Dunkirk and Calais, teaching them skills and options for their future, something we all definitely can take for granted.
You both have been championing female empowerment from the beginning. What reception have you received from supporting female charities like the Refugee Women’s Centre, and what charities do you hope to support in future?
It’s so important for us to harness the plethora of female talent, it’s kind of mad to us that you can still go to a comedy night and see a line-up of solely straight white men, considering how much female talent is out there, not to mention in the kitchen too. Working on ‘Girl on Girl’ was our first all female line-up, across the comedy, food and music, the support was incredible alone for that and then doing it for a great cause, we were able to collaborate with so many exciting women at different levels in their career to produce our favourite show yet. We have a few ideas in the pipeline for working on projects that encourage young girls to get into comedy, whether it be writing or performing it would be great to help the next generation of female comics.
You both work so closely with guest chefs and delicious food, Would you describe yourselves as foodies?
Literally, someone needs to put a stop to our indulgent feastings. We love cooking and going out, it’s way funner than paying your rent on time.
Working with such awesome guest chefs catering past events, what has been your favourite Mam Sham dish?
Probably from the ASOS Christmas Party, we collaborated with The Gravy Social and Shaun Whitmore (Berber + Q) to create a Bangladeshi Christmas Feast inspired by Eshaan Akbar’s tales of festive stereotypes.
Where are your favourite places to eat out?
Berber & Q
Ramiro (if you’re in Lisbon)
A big shout out to Arthur’s Cafe (RIP)
What exciting things are you working on?
We’ve just released tickets for ‘The Last Resort’, 3 courses inspired by 3 comedy acts and their tales of bad brits abroad. Think peeling sunburn, flight delays and family feuds! Tickets are on sale via our website www.mamsham.com or keep stalking us on our gram mam_sham_ for all the updates!