When I learnt that La Boite theatre were bringing out a production called Food, I knew I had to go see it. I mean, of course, how could I not?
Food is a co-production between dance theatre company, Force Majeure, and theatre company, Belvoir, under the direction of Kate Champion and Steve Rodgers. This play mixes dance with theatre and song in a recipe for a truly heartwarming play.
It makes sense that food is a theme to be explored in theatre. Food evokes a range of emotions and meanings for people. It has the ability to move people and in this play, change lives forever.
The story tells of two Australian sisters, Elma (Kate Box) and Nancy (Emma Jackson) who own and run a family takeaway shop, the specials? Dim sims, sausage rolls, Chiko rolls and more. Elma’s older sister no-bullshit character is hard and caring at the same time, a façade that escapes through her love for food and the attachment to their family business. Whilst they deal with dark family secrets, they dream of transforming their shop into a restaurant playing off Elma’s love and talent for comfort food such as lamb shanks and minestrone.
Like the kitchen is the heart of any home, the kitchen is the setting for these two sisters and a funny, young Turkish traveller, Hakan (Fayssal Bazzi), who bizarrely gets employed as a kitchenhand. His comedic relief from quite a disturbing and dark storyline provides the perfect amount of seasoning to enhance this play.
The incorporation of dance is subtle and purely an extension of the interaction between the characters. Nancy’s opening scene is powerful and intriguing. The dance works well with the story, displaying intimacy and playfulness just as effectively.
The prepping of food – the crushing of garlic, peeling of beans and the dicing of potatoes – is mesmerising in itself. The conversations that flow over this preparation amplifies that homecooked feel of Elma’s restaurant. The smell of minestrone, the pouring of wine and the sharing of bread as it gets served around to random audience members creates an extrasensory experience – YES! YOU (can) GET FOOD IN THE SHOW! Be still, my beating heart. A combination of food and theatre makes me way too happy. Read: future directors include food in all of your productions.
This heartbreaking story is one dish that needs to be enjoyed while it’s hot. Don’t miss out.
Details you need:
When: This short season runs from 16 – 27 April.
Where: Roundhouse Theatre, 6-8 Musk Avenue Kelvin Grove Village
Duration: 90 minutes
Price: Tickets are from $25. Buy them here.
For more details, read about Food on the La Boitre theatre company page here.