The Chef Show

Feed your mind and excite your taste buds as The Chef Show, a new play from Yorkshire playwright Nick Ahad, touring nationally in June 2019 following two awards and many sell-out shows, comes to The Studio. Part comedy play, part cookery demonstration, The Chef Show takes the audience behind the scenes on a busy Saturday night in the local curry house.

Two actors play a cast of thousands in heroic and comic tales inspired by interviews with real people in the trade. They will be joined on stage at The Studio by a chef from Bradford’s own My Lahore restaurant, providing tips on how to create a spicy offering of your own and the audience will have the chance to taste the food and meet the guest chef.

The Chef Show reflects on the many villages and market towns where there are ‘Indian’ restaurants with staff that rarely have any social contact with other members of the community apart from serving them food.

The Chef Show is the first production from Ragged Edge Productions – a new Cumbrian theatre company founded by the play’s director - Stefan Escreet.

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 all around the country – in rural and urban settings. Our partnerships with local restaurants and takeaways are crucial and the enthusiasm and generosity of the owners and staff has been really encouraging.

We are delighted to be working with My Lahore in Bradford. I’ve eaten there myself and really enjoyed their food.  It’s great to be working with such a well-known local restaurant - we’re looking forward to plenty of fun on stage.

We know from previous tours that the audience will have a great night out and learn a little about the lives of people running these businesses in the community.” 

Playwright Nick Ahad added:

“Ethnic minorities who run restaurants in genteel English villages know that you generally commute into these often entirely white places to make food for the customers, then return to your own life a world away.

The Chef Show tears down that barrier. 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 cast features Kamal Kaan and Rohit Gokani. Kamal Kaan is from Bradford and is making waves with his own writing career (including Breaking Up With Bradford for BBC Radio Drama).

The Chef Show has been written by Nick Ahad, who has written for Emmerdale and now has his own show on BBC Radio Leeds.  Nick grew up in an Anglo-Bangladeshi family that ran a restaurant. It is designed by Martin Johns (Me and My Girl, Passion Play and Master Class, West End) and with movement choregraphed by Ella Vale. 

Director Stefan Escreet has been working in Theatre for over 30 years, having started at The Dukes Lancaster as a professional actor before becoming a director and radio drama producer. He has recently established Ragged Edge after being Associate Director at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick for many years.

The production won the Rural Touring Award for Stage Performance of the Year in 2018 and the Cumbria Life Arts Award for Live Performance of the Year 2019. This award was in recognition of the shows ‘originality and commitment to inclusion and diversity.’

‘A stroke of genius. While it makes serious and urgent points that speak to the divisive times in which we are currently living, the play is also very funny. Humour, food and empathy – a potent and winning combination.’ The Yorkshire Post

This is a chef’s special, a deliciously funny and occasionally dramatically-daring concoction of a play British Theatre Guide

The comedy in Stefan Escreet’s slick production compliments not-so-funny cultural issues, especially the immigrant experience of prejudice and the still-powerful pull of family ties in Bangladesh’The Stage

Audience Responses

‘The best thing I’ve seen, smelled and tasted in ages!’

‘Brilliant – funny and moving’

The Chef Show has been funded by Arts Council England

Recommended age 10+

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