Review: Food Wars

There’s been lots of talk recently about food shortages and empty shelves, about our country not being able to sustain itself with self grown and produced food and it’s reliance on goods imported from other countries. But a new production by Ipswich’s Eastern Angles theatre company shows that this is not something related to current political issues!

Food Wars is a production of not one but two plays in one evening currently at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Gatacre Road.

Oh, What A Lovely Food War takes us to the music halls popular around the time of World War I and the story about food shortages caused by the War. Told in comic sketches and songs it tells in an easy way the problems that faced the country when the imports of food and drink were stopped by the Germans. Faced with little or no home grown food the government had to introduce rationing and ideas to make ends meet. Performed by a cast of three it is a fun trip back to the music hall days allowing it to tell a very serious historical consequence of war.

Act 2, is in fact play two and this one is another of Eastern Angles’s Jon Tavener’s pieces called Saving Our Bacon. The beauty and real skill of this is that the content was derived from Jon’s visits to old people’s homes where he invited countless residents and then took their individual stories to put into a story of his own, while keeping many of the memories of his interviewees. This is not something new to Jon as he has successfully done this twice before with the marvellous Sid and Hettie and more recently with Everything Must Go.

Saving Our Bacon follows a similar story to the first play in that it’s about rationing, but this time the rationing caused by World War II. Using his interviews the story follows a family affected by the War and it’s shortages of food and the lengths that people go to get a meal.

I’m pleased to say that Jon has once again triumphed with the genre that he seems to making a name for himself and the same three cast members from earlier bring his story to life convincingly with warmth and a few tears too.

A marvellous evening’s entertainment, for young (recommended at least 8 years) and old (as old as you wish!!).

There’s some very similar parallels to recent news reports of food shortages, but here’s hoping that we won’t be seeing a production of a Brexit Baking Shortage anytime soon.

Highly recommended, runs until Saturday 14th September

Review: Mark Keable – Ipswich24
Photo: Mike Kwasniak