Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre set to stage four new plays as part of HUNGER FOR TRADE – an international performing arts response to the global food crisis.
New pieces of work will be seen at The Studio at the Royal Exchange Theatre from Thursday 24 April to Saturday 3 May.Overseen by the Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, HUNGER FOR TRADE has been created in collaboration with nine theatres across four continents, with the Royal Exchange representing the UK.
The response comes against a backdrop of global food supplies facing crisis conditions as climate change, population growth and diminishing resources contribute to catastrophic outcomes for many parts of the world.The plays being staged at the Exchange are by four of the country’s most exciting emerging playwrights – Miriam Battye, Brad Birch, Alistair McDowall and Kellie Smith. Written under the mentorship of multi-award-winning and internationally renowned playwright Simon Stephens, these new plays all explore the commodification of food.
The four plays being staged are: THIS LAND by Alistair McDowall which looks at how in court, on farms and in the dirt, big business is laying claim to everything nature has to offer; BALANCE by Miriam Battye, which shows a family’s relationship buckling under the strain of a mother’s international career; BLACK GOLD by Kellie Smith, set in Ivory Coast, which tells the story of a British trader clashing with a cocoa farmer on the eve of a civil war and TENDER BOLUS by Brad Birch which charts the drama of a desperate couple on the brink of bankruptcy who clamber for a lifeline during one last gorge.
Those performing include Shobna Gulati, William Ash, David Crellin, Chris Jack, Kimberly Hart-Simpson, Sara Sadeghi and Olwen May. The plays have been directed by AlexSummers and Polly Thomas.
A multi-media installation exploring production and consumption in the modern world will be open to walk round an hour before each show. The HUNGER FOR TRADE installation will feature an audio-visual exploration of ownership, family, culture, greed, ritual, gastronomy,, patents, property rights and chocolate.