For the six agents provocateurs who make up Cacahuete, this is par for the course. Cacahuete means peanut, and peanuts are salty, nutty and have a tendency to stick in some people's gorges. The last time the Cacahuetes were in Britain, in 1992, they were cautioned by the local constabulary after taking a coffin into Bishop Auckland's only department store. In Poland, they pulled a similar stunt in a butcher's and almost started a fight, while in France the gendarmerie took exception to their La Vente des Femmes, in which a grubby peasant tries to auction his daughters at market. Parisian railway officials are not the police, but they dress and act like them, and their frowns dispelled any received ideas about relaxed French and tight-buttoned English responses to street theatre.
But all this excitement was merely the hors d'oeuvre. No security guard could keep bride and groom apart. The naked wedding guests were covered up, the infuriated monks installed at the other end of the train, and we set off for the main course. Approaching the Channel Tunnel, the audience assembled in the bar, and as the train plunged into the darkness, a loud cry of "Vive les maries!" went up.
Confetti was thrown, funny foam sprayed. Then, as we began to wonder what all the fuss was about, the wedding banquet arrived; it consisted of a naked man wearing a pig's snout, face down on a hospital trolley, covered in slices of ham and salami and garnished with lettuce, tomato and cucumber.
The bride peeled a slice from his backside (the temperature in Paris was 93 degrees), tipped back her head and gulped it down. A vegetarian woman looked ashen, and nibbled at a piece of cucumber. Steadily, a few brave souls tucked in, and what followed was one of the most peculiar striptease acts anyone is ever likely to see, each slice of pink pork flesh removed revealing white human flesh beneath. Strangely, no one attempted the sausage between the cauchon's buttocks. A steward said Eurostar hadn't seen anything so kinky since two masochists locked themselves in the toilets with a whip.
Meanwhile, Bacchus had entered butt-naked - literally - wearing nothing save a skimpy loin cloth, leafy head-dress and buff of Cotes du Rhone on his back. A tube snaked through his legs to a phallus-like nozzle; and as the audience took it in turn to refresh themselves and relieve him, he let out a series of open-throated Gallic moans of pleasure.
It was over far too soon, long before we saw daylight. Was it Art with a capital A or just a gimmick (with a capital P and R)? Who cares. It was very funny. If the monks make it as far as Teesside, perhaps they might give it a second chance.
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