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EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Review: TOAST, Traverse Theatre

EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Review: TOAST, Traverse Theatre

EDINBURGH 2018: BWW Review: TOAST, Traverse Theatre

Based on the biography written by Nigel Slater, Toast is a play about a young boy growing up in the 1960's. Food played a huge part in his life and he describes his childhood through the tastes and smells of the kitchen. Upon entering the theatre we are handed Walnut Whips (well, minus the walnut since they rebranded) and told not to eat them until Dad says its ok. What kind of torture is this?

Nigel's mother wasn't a very good cook but he loved what she did make him. Especially toast, because "it is impossible not to love someone who makes you toast". The parts of the play where Nigel is baking with his mother are pure joy.

There are interesting themes of masculinity in the play as Nigel's stepmother remarks that it isn't normal for a boy to be interested in cookery. Nigel's dad also has bizarre rules over which sweets are acceptable for boys to eat.

Toast is light and funny in some places and absolutely devastating in others. Sam Newton plays Nigel beautifully and really shows his vulnerability. Mark Felischman who plays his father alternates between sympathetic and almost villainous as he struggles to cope with events in their lives.

While Toast describes the food featured in the play in mouth-watering detail, it is the smells that waft through the auditorium that really brings the experience to life. As the family tuck into their Walnut Whips on a Friday night there is rustling and giggling throughout the theatre as the audience join them. A lovely touch to a very emotive show.


Photo credit: The Other Richard

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