Part play, part cookery show promises to spice up Sunderland diners’ lives

Kamal Kaan and Rohit Gokani - photo by Dave Charnley
Kamal Kaan and Rohit Gokani - photo by Dave Charnley
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Treat your tastebuds to a theatrical feast with a show that’s part play, part cookery demonstration.

The Chef Show takes its audience behind the scenes on a busy Saturday night in a local curry house and gives people the chance to taste the food as they watch.

Photography by Tom Kay, Cumbria

Photography by Tom Kay, Cumbria

The unique production will be staged at The Funky Indian in Borough Road, on January 24, as part of a national tour and will feature a guest chef from the restaurant.

Two actors, Kamal Kaan and Rohit Gokani, play a cast of thousands in comic tales inspired by interviews with real people in the trade. They will be joined by a chef from a restaurant local to each venue, providing tips on how to create a spicy offering of your own.

Producers Ragged Edge Productions say the show reflects on the many areas where there are Indian restaurants with staff who rarely have any social contact with other members of the community, apart from serving them food.

Director Stefan Escreet said: “The Chef Show was originally inspired by an event in my local village hall and it’s been a delight to make a show that will be seen in similar venues right across the North.  Our partnerships with local restaurants and takeaways are crucial and the enthusiasm and generosity of the owners and staff has been really encouraging.

“We’re hoping the audience will have a great night out and learn a little about the people running these businesses in the community.”

Playwright Nick Ahad added: “I’ve always thought the director’s idea was a brilliant one. So many of us, those who write for and about theatre talk about ‘reaching out’ and ‘engaging in conversation’, well The Chef Show does exactly that. This time it isn’t just lip service.”

Nick, who has written for Emmerdale and now has his own show on BBC Radio Leeds, says the show helps the audience to look beyond the waiter/waitress’ apron strings.

He said: “When you see the man making your tikka masala has a life, a family, dreams of his own, then you see his humanity. When he’s on stage and you’re hearing his story, you can’t fail but see someone more than just the bloke who makes your food. That’s why I think The Chef Show is vital and timely.”

•The Chef Show is at The Funky Indian in Borough Road, Sunderland city centre, at 7.30pm and is suitable for children aged 10 plus.

•Tickets are priced £8.50 and are available here