The joy of cooking is brought to life in Nigel Slater’s Toast and it’s a reminder of how food can be good for the soul
Nigel Slater’s Toast is a fun, heartwarming and at times heartbreaking story told through the eyes and memories a young and impressionable Slater.
The show opens with a nine-year-old Slater happily baking with his mum and enjoying school. We follow him up to his young adult life watching his love of food grow before our eyes. But he also lets us in on some of the most influential aspects of his life – from losing his mum to asthma and his dad’s often physical and controlling nature to coming to terms with his own sexuality.
Written by Henry Filloux-Bennett, the show is highly captivating with plenty of funny moments but was also quite poignant at times. It was a real nostalgia boost as he recalls tastes, smells and stories from his childhood which essentially made him what he is today.
There were some great additions to the production such as the smell of burnt toast as entered the theatre, which is explained later on when Slater reveals that his mum ‘burns toast as surely as the sun rises each morning’. And there were sweet treats for the audience which was a nice touch too.
Most of the scenes were set in the family kitchen and it was interesting to see how the cast and crew they navigated through the play with ease frequently moving parts as they performed ready for the next scene.
The chemistry between Giles Cooper (Nigel) and Katy Federman (Mum) was wonderful to see. Both shined in their roles. Cooper especially managed to act equally well as a nine-year-old as he was as a teenager and young adult. This made it fun, but also the audience seemed to really connect with him throughout. And another mention should go to ‘Dad’s’ new love interest ‘Joan’ played by Samantha Hopkins. The scenes where she and Cooper’s character battled for the affections oh his father with food were thoroughly entertaining.
Toast premiered at The Lowry Manchester in May 2018. Visit www.nigelslaterstoast.co.uk to keep track of where to see it next.
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