Then Alice – the latest and most enduring dinner and show offering by The Act – isn’t your average night, let alone dining experience.
Not least as the ‘person’ doing the telling off (for being a bit late) is dressed as the ace of spades.
After some curious banter – including another couple admonished for tardiness – bad bugle playing and other cast members urged to paint the roses in the English garden-style lobby with more haste, we’re allowed into the body of the venue.
It is here we find the show’s namesake, serene on a platform, reading a book and restless for adventure.
Themed cocktails are served alongside dry ice-flanked yummy appetisers of crab sliders, salmon tartare and more as the scene is further set for what is to come.
Before long the black curtain containing us within the bar area is dropped to reveal the mock vaudeville charm of The Act’s cosy auditorium.
Although the venue boasts a small stage, the floor space – including tables at which guests are seated – all become part of the ensuing action.
And so the show unfolds as a cleverly curated mix of performance and engagement, with bewilderment and fun the mission.
Multi-tasking cast members also dressed as cards double as waiting staff, although diners don’t always stay seated – or their tables remain in one place, for that matter.
Taking its cue from the Alice In Wonderland story, of course, the show is also a vehicle for frivolity and acrobatic displays with the Cheshire Cat, Tweedledum and Tweedledee and a gifted contortionist showing sinew-testing, multi-disciplinary skills.
In the world’s highest theatre club - 42 floors above Sheikh Zayed Road - Alice extracts qualities from the wonderland mayhem that function well amid in a scenario that could easily descend into chaos in the wrong hands.
Danny Lee’s choreography allows the entertainment to flow either side of dinner service – Japanese-fusion Peruvian dishes also allowed to star rather than be a bit player in the mix.
The food draws on and works with the activity around us, each dish making us curiouser and curiouser, as an eclectic soundtrack from Gwen Stefani to Chaka Khan and other disco classics fills the air.
At one point our table is positioned on the stage as the Red Queen makes her scowling entrance. And then dessert actually becomes part of the show – very clever.
And while there are times when you can feel a little displaced or baffled, go with the flow and an open mind and you’ll have an evening to remember.
Rarely will you see ‘waiting staff’ have such a good time – or end up dancing with diners at the end.
THE Act brings Alice to a close on March 16 with the Mad Tea Party, but get your skates on and you may still be able to grab a table for tonight.
TICKETS cost 495AED per person and credit card reservations are taken at 043551116, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the web page www.theactdubai.com
BE sure to like The Act’s Facebook page to hear about their next very important date: www.facebook.com/TheActDubai