What the 20 Irascible Tattoo Faced Food-Bearing Nomads like best is to play with home-made flamethrowers, bicker constantly over food, and indulge a particular fondness for freshly-ground pepper, writes John Carr Brown. They have been chosen as one of the main acts to relaunch Deptford's Albany Theatre.

What is more, when it is the turn of other acts such as George Egg and his extraordinary feats of self-mutilation, the Nomads refuse to leave the performance area - where their wigwam is pitched - and insist on feeding everybody in sight.

Nomad's leader Paxo-Nectarine (aka Ian Smith) explained: 'Okay, scoring the pepper makes us a bit irascible, and maybe the way we serve the food is a bit slap-dash but we only assault each other.'

The Albany's purpose-built round reopens tonight after four years of effective closure due to lack of funding. To try to move away from the stand-up comedy format which made the Albany's name in the 1980s, Andrew Broadley, the theatre director, has created an alternative programme of anarchic circus, cabaret, music and food that he hopes will win the Albany a reputation for innovative entertainment. The theatre's rebirth is thanks to a pounds 100,000 regeneration package put together by Lewisham Council and Deptford City Challenge.

More details about The Feast can be obtained from the box office (081 692 4446.)

(Photograph omitted)