Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Review - Toast at the Worthing Connaught Theatre

Last night I was invited to the press launch of Toast at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing and so I took my parents along for a night out. Written by Richard Bean and starring Matthew Kelly, Toast follows a group of men on a Sunday night shift in 1975 at the bread factory as they pop in and out of the break room for their lunch and smoking breaks.

The characters in the play are based upon Bean's own experiences of working in a bakery in Hull. The large clock on the back wall tracks the real-time progress through the shift, and there is a constant hum in the background as the bread making machinery rumbles away off stage.

The first half of the play was a bit slow, and with very strong language from the outset. We were introduced to the characters along with the relationships between them and their roles within the factory, along with plenty of banter. The second half moved along a lot more quickly, as a crisis hit the factory, leading to a few tense moments as the men face danger in order to keep the bread production going and to make sure that they can keep their jobs, for the time being at least.

Toast by Richard Bean picture
Photo credit - Oliver King
We enjoyed the play. It wasn't hilarious, but there were some funny moments and after a slow start the pace picked up as the play progressed. Matthew Kelly was brilliant in the role, he may not have had many lines but he conveyed so much of his character through his mannerisms, and all the other roles were characterised wonderfully.

Toast is running at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing until Saturday 19th March 2016. The tour then continues with dates at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, the Arts Theatre, Cambridge and the Nottingham Theatre Royal before the production moves to New York. You can find more details about the tour here - Toast.

I received press tickets for the performance in exchange for a review.

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