Food Wars: Battles on the Home Front

Eastern Angles Theatre Company

Sir John Mills Theatre

You can always expect something a little different with the Eastern Angles and Food Wars is two complimentary ‘theatre pieces’ set around food rationing during World War II.

‘Oh, What A Lovely Food War’ was created for a project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the surrender of the German U-Boat fleet at Harwich. Marketed as a series of comic music hall sketches, our posh compare linked the sketches together smoothly enough for it to feel like a play. Depicting the class differences with humour, song and political satire it was an enjoyable performance. Several nods to modern day society and a The Great British Bread Bake-Off with the coveted handshake from the judge. How did government deal with the impending crisis when all the boats are being sunk by the Germans –they were trying to win the war by starving us!

‘Saving Our Bacon’ written and inspired by real memories of rationing during the Second World War and the campaign to get people on board. Based around a young woman, Treacle, living with her mother, falling in love, getting married before he goes off to war. Day to day family life of the women who had to get on with it and make do – they carried on carrying on. They had to queue for queuing sake and would there be consequences if they purchased items on the black market?

A good history lesson through entertainment on these two interesting performances. Although we still have a connection to those times through parents and grandparents, to hear more detail and from different points of view added to my knowledge. I didn’t realise two-thirds of our food was imported from the Commonwealth at that time – amazing we were not able to grow our own with the land we had. Seems like we have come full circle though and with Brexit around the corner….but let’s not talk about that.

Take your older friends and relatives to reminisce of those times, they will love it. Take the youngsters so they get a feel of what it was really like before the memories really fade – educate the youth of today.

Only three actors… three fabulous actors. Simple use of coats and hats to denote different characters but fluid acting skills to keep us enthralled and completely on track. Sally Ann Burnett’s experience was evident (probably the best female impersonator of Winston Churchill you’ll likely see), Hayley Evenett’s energy and warmth sucked you in and Joseph Phelps characterisations were a crowd pleaser.

There are so many elements of the political time that I can’t mention them all, but you leave thinking how lucky we are today to be able to go to a supermarket and buy way more than what we need. We were the fittest and healthiest we were during that era, don’t you know?

It’s different, it’s historical, it’s moving, it’s entertaining, it’s interesting……what more do you want from a night out?

At Sir Jon Mills until Saturday 14th September then touring the region: click here for tour dates.