It’s not every day you go to a show where dinner is provided. Then again, not every show is set in a community kitchen. Born and Bread was a musical presented by the Brighton People’s Theatre as part of the Brighton Festival. It is about a woman and her daughter who moved to Brighton from London for a better quality of life. However stuck out in Whitehawk, she starts to feel alienated, and not really part of the community until she comes upon a local community kitchen. There we meet an eccentric cast of characters who share their life stories as they prepare the food.

The musical was inspired by the theatre company speaking to 100 Brighton residents, from around the world. They were asked about food and what constitutes “home”. Not surprisingly the food you grew up with played a big part in it. The set itself was quite unique. There was a long stage in the middle of the room with the audience around three sides. The fourth side was taken up by the kitchen. Not only was this somewhere to hang out while not performing but where three chefs from the Real Junk Food Project were making some soup. This along with some rolls from the Real Patisserie were handed out to the audience after the show. The Real Junk Food Project runs various cafes and pop-ups in and around Brighton, and all their food is made from ingredients that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

The show was entertaining and thought-provoking. Is home somewhere we live or is it deeper than that? Is it more about community and making your own virtual home. It was also funny with a slightly surreal, fourth-wall-breaking humour. It also harks back to the days before Brighton became a city and (possibly) had a bit more community.

Photo by The Brighton Festival

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