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Theatre Review: Nigel Slater's Toast ****

Michael Cox reviews a humane production that's 'heart-breaking and hilarious'.

The production kicks off the moment you walk into the Traverse One theatre: the aroma of toast fills the air, and you are presented with a Walnut Whip as you hand over your ticket—told to wait until ‘daddy tells you it’s alright’.

Henry Filloux-Bennett’s script for Nigel Slater’s Toast could have been another bio of talent triumphing over adversity—and there are aspects of that here. Slater’s young life is the focus: how he went from eager kid cooking with his ill mother to taking his first professional job. And there are some moving moments showing events in his life and his relationship to key people.

But where the production really soars is when the piece juxtaposes the ritual of cooking to those relationships. Director Jonnie Riordan’s production actually serves a banquet of riches, filled with humour and pathos. A great cast, led by a very engaging Sam Newton as Slater, takes us through a barrage of the senses.

Heart-breaking and hilarious, it is a very humane production.

Nigel Slater’s Toast is at the Traverse until August 26th.

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