Nigel Slater’s Toast is a new play based on his award-winning autobiography. Vividly recreating suburban England in the 1960s, Nigel Slater’s childhood is told through the tastes and smells he grew up with. From making the perfect sherry trifle, waging war over cakes through to the playground politics of sweets and the rigid rules of restaurant dining, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and…toast.
Nigel Slater has built his career around food, starting off as a chef before becoming a food writer and journalist. Toast follows the early years of Slater’s life and tracks back through his childhood years to his late teens to discover where his love of food comes from and how it has formed his life.
Slater’s family life is unconventionally conventional and filled with tragedy and hardship. Throughout his life, through his various trials and tribulations, you learn that food is his outlet. When he is angry, he bakes, when he is upset, he bakes, when he wants to overcome his new mother-in-law, he enters an unspoken contest with her to try and impress his dad with the best deserts.
The show is delivered in a direct-to-the-audience an autobiographical style that is not only visually tactile but physically too, at various points throughout the audience are given sweet treats to go along with the show. It’s a great idea that helps to raise some nostalgia in the audience, although the logistics of which are a little messy and some lines of dialogue following can be missed to the sound of hundreds of people with wrappers. There are movement pieces throughout which add a sense of whimsy but they don’t always flow cleanly at times.
Toast is a humorous and moving show above, memories, nostalgia and of course, food. As Nigel says:
“You can’t not fall in love with someone who makes you toast”.
Toast is on at the Other Palace Theatre until the 3rd of August, tickets start from £11.90 from the London Box Office Website