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Review : Toast – Theatre Royal Nottingham

 

A play written by Richard Bean set in a bakery. Taking my seat in a full house with my Son, there was a background noise of churning and an industrial hum. The set was grubby and the play was within a staff canteen environment. The story delved into a group of Bakers trying to maintain the output of a bakery that they believed to be targeted by management for closure. The workers had formulated a plan to work together to maximise efficiency so that they were able to keep the bakery running without incurring extra cost and a maximum turnover.

The workers led by their Forman Blakey (Steve Nicholson),maintain the orders by doing long hours and minor repairs and tricks to overcome problems. The team are joined by a student on work experience and the story unravels into how the workforce is connected in their duties and the odd ways of the Student.Toast_production_photos._Matt_Sutton_(Peter)__Matthew_Kelly_(Nellie)_-_Photo_credit_Oliver_King The play also starred Matthew Kelly has one of the lead characters, his appearance was a worker covered in flour and dough, his character a long-serving member with no other real interests other than his work at the Bakery. The play is set in a factory setting with each character giving an insight into their personal stories, my Son wanted to know which decade the play was. I presumed it was in the 70’s due to the clothing and the talk of strikes and the obvious lack of health and safety/hygiene. The language was also colourful which led to a few audience members walking out. I am sure the language was quite tame in comparison to working in some factories (not to mention in the 70’s). Luckily my relationship with my Son is able to withstand the language.

We thoroughly enjoyed the play dipping in/out of the stories; it also showed the vulnerability of the bakers when faced with closure. I am always fascinated by the back stories of people/ jobs/ home-life and how it can touch upon relationships. The performance was good with no obvious problems; I recognised a few familiar faces. A good cast with a good storyline, the humour was very masculine with swearing and sexual references. The audience didn’t mind the language due to the nature of the setting and how it fits into the storyline. We laughed to hear an elderly smart dressed couple discussing why some people had walked out and repeating the language that could have offended them, it was a moment the teenager enjoyed.

Set 8/10

Performance 8/10

Good points – individual stories

Bad points – Language could upset sensitive ears.