What is the best biscuit to dunk during rehearsal? Asking for a friend 😂 discounting soggy biscuit
— Michael Luxton (@JefferyCupcakes)>
What is the best biscuit to dunk during rehearsal? Asking for a friend \uD83D\uDE02 discounting soggy biscuit— Michael Luxton (@JefferyCupcakes) January 21, 2020
A question that has confused theatre scholars for years: the biscuit quandary. Stanislavski wrote books on it: An Actor Prepares (Their Digestives), Roy Scheider spoke about it in Jaws: “We’re gonna need a bigger Bourbon”, and Lloyd Webber wrote a musical about it: Joseph and the Amazing Techni-Custard Cream Coat.
But, not one of them managed to settle on the most suitable. So, I enlisted the help of a team of musical theatre scientists, who have tried and tested the most popular biscuits, to discover the perfect theatrical dunk and answer the question: which McVitie is best to munch when you’re rehearsing to play Macavity?
Things to consider were: volume during eating (essential when consuming during other people’s scenes), dunkability (no one wants a biscuit that dissolves quickly), throwability (for directors who need to throw biscuits at actors), bloating-risk (a big no-no, particularly when rehearsing physical theatre pieces), price (an important consideration when working on Equity minimum), energy (vital when saying lots of long speeches). So, here are the top five.
5. Rich Tea. A classic. Although it has the appearance of being dull, this little bite of dynamite is the perfect dunking companion. It absorbs tea with finesse. A little loud to bite into if dry (so be careful when eating during other people’s scene work). And a nifty little flyer – it is the weapon of choice for established regional theatre directors.
4. Ginger nut. A hard nut. Tough to bite into. But an excellent dunking option. With a lovely spicy taste. Eat five of these and you’ll have no problem crying on cue. The dunking experience is a lovely one, the biscuit is capable of taking in a lot of tea, but still retains its firmness, like most West End producers.
3. Chocolate digestive. This one was close. There were tears, tantrums and walk-outs. Many musical theatre scientists wanted the original digestive without the chocolate (milk chocolate). But after a weekend of hard decisions, the chocolate made a breakthrough. It provided that extra magical ingredient – as it allowed licking, biting and melting possibilities – a triple threat, dear.
2. Jaffa cakes. This one surprised me. But these little circles of pleasure offer much-needed energy and award hardly any bloating. They are quiet to eat (perfect for the rehearsal room), provide lots of energy (top athletes use them as extra fuel), and are quick to consume. However, they can be tricky on hot days – as the tops melt and cause all sorts of mess.
1. Hobnobs. Brilliant to dunk, and the little bits of oat provide excellent energy per bite. They can be noisy to bite into, but if nibbled they are perfect. They are the biscuit of choice for many directors – as they fly well and have a hard-hitting edge (it has been claimed that the real reason Judi Dench left the original Cats was because Trevor Nunn threw one at her). They offer value for money as you only need to eat a couple of them to feel fed. Bravo!
*Highly commended – Custard creams and Bourbons. Both traditional classics, but with so much competition they sadly didn’t make the top five.
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