Nigel Slater autobiography Toast to be turned into experiential stage show

The food writer Nigel Slater. Photo: Jenny Zarins The food writer Nigel Slater. Photo: Jenny Zarins
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Nigel Slater’s Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger is to be adapted for the stage, with audiences able to experience the smells and tastes referenced in the production.

Audiences will be given jam tarts and bread-and-butter pudding in a series of “eating interventions” during the performance, when the smells of boiled ham and cabbage will also be “wafted” around the auditorium.

Adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett from the food writer’s autobiography, the play will be performed at the Lowry in Salford as part of Week 53, its coming-of-age-themed festival.

The festival will run from May 17 to 28 next year and marks the theatre’s 18th anniversary.

Director Jonnie Riordan told The Stage: “Toast the autobiography is rooted in food and every chapter is about a food he had when he was younger.

“It is a really brilliant opportunity to get the audience to taste the same things that the characters are tasting. There should be a lot of flavours and smells circulated around the show, so the audience can feel attached to the story. There is so much nostalgia connected to tasting food and we hope that it helps transport the audience back in time to that period.“

Riordan added that the logistics of the eating interventions were still being worked on as well as a strategy on how to serve the food without interrupting the performance.

James Thompson, Slater’s business partner, is working with the play’s production team as a food consultant.

Toast was previously adapted into a film which ran first on BBC1 in 2010 before being released into cinemas the following year.

Other productions to feature in the Week 53 festival include Brighton Rock, Tamsin Shasha and Maisy Taylor’s Everything I See I Swallow, Tom Dekyvere’s Nervous and School of Moon by choreographer Eric Minh Cuong Castaing.