Can you change/mask the scent of radishes? My eyeballs stink.


I’m in a production of King Lear and if you are not familiar with the play, a character gets his eyes plucked out on stage and at least one of them gets stomped on the ground.

It’s been my job to figure out how to do this.
My solution was a radish. peeled it is nice and white and spherical. The root makes a nice optic nerve. I have to nuke them for about 90 seconds so they are soft enough. Don’t want them to bounce and they have to squish.

It all works great but, they do smell pretty bad.

Any ideas of how to change the scent of a radish?

I thought the peeled lychee was the stage eye of choice. Here they are available at fruit shops fresh with skin on and you only need peel them as required. Also, if the script calls for it, they are delicious.

You could spray the radishes with Liquid Fence, but then the stage would reek of putrefying egg solids.

Might add atmosphere, though.

What about a peeled seeded grape? Seems like it’d be as big as an eyeball when it comes to size.


Eyes are much bigger than you think and you want it to ‘read’ to the back row so if anything you want something a little larger.

The lychee nuts were considered. I’m not that familiar with them but a can of them were brought in and I thought those were just not acceptable. They weren’t round and they were slimy and smelly as well. (plus not ‘optic nerve’ to dangle them from)

I’m looking for white radishes, maybe those smell better.
It is a lot of fun and a fairly messy scene. I usually do the stage managing and some light makeup. There are sometimes calls for scars and such. But for this, I have to go on the freaking stage and apply makeup to the eye area and sprays some bloody goo on the plucker and the pluckee. I’m a little freaked out by this. I don’t talk or anything so that’s good. Now I want my ‘character’ to have an eye patch but the director said no.

My vote is for a giant cocktail onion. Nice subtle but satisfying crunch when you chomp it, too.
Bonus: Wet!

Would a small turnip work?

Have you tried soaking the radish in ice water? I know you can do that to sliced onions to remove some of the bite. It might be worth a try for radishes.

Nuked turnip would smell just as bad as nuked radish. I know this from experience.

Radishes are going to stink and that’s all there is to it. Maybe you can find a mold and cook egg whites in it. there are gummy eyes for sale especially during Halloween.

I thought of a boiled and peeled quail’s egg, or is that too small?

Actually I do put the radish in water after nuking them.

The gummy eyes don’t squish nicely.

A quail egg could work, and I could probably get one at Whole Foods but those would cost much more than a radish.
Maybe I’ll put some sliced lemon in the water.