Biscuits for Breakfast: Lecturer's new play makes an impact beyond the stage
09 May 2023
Falmouth Acting BA(Hons) lecturer Gareth Farr’s new play Biscuits for Breakfast, a comment on the food poverty crisis in the UK, opened last week at Hampstead Theatre, London.
Written by Gareth Farr, directed by Tessa Walker and set in Cornwall, Biscuits for Breakfast tells the story of unlikely couple Joanne and Paul who, through no fault of their own, find themselves slipping into poverty.
Speaking to Hampstead Theatre, Gareth said that the play deals with various versions of hunger: “The characters are hungry for lots of things – family, security, creativity, progression, and food. It is also about resilience and how we can help those who are in desperate need by being funny or tender or utterly determined.”
Where possible, Gareth believes his work should have an impact beyond the stage – and Biscuits for Breakfast is no exception. "[When] I started to research [for the play], I began to work at a food bank near to where I live,” says Gareth. “I was utterly astounded by the sheer amount of people who needed food support and how many of them were in work.”
After this experience, Gareth started working with chef Rupert Cooper and Truro Foodbank on a series of recipe cards to be included in food boxes and video tutorials for the food bank’s website. The recipes will all include food items that are often found in food boxes, helping users of this vital service to make more of their meals. Falmouth University is supporting the production of this content.
As well as being a lecturer on Falmouth’s Acting degree, Gareth is an award-winning writer for theatre and TV. His play Britannia Waves the Rules (Royal Exchange Manchester) won the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting in 2011, toured twice, and has since been produced in Australia. His play The Quiet House was performed at Birmingham Rep and Park Theatre and was also directed by Tessa Walker.
Biscuits for Breakfast will star Boadicea Ricketts whose recent theatre work includes Addictive Beat (Boundless Theatre), She Ventures & He Wins (Young Vic) and East (King’s Head) where she was nominated for Best Actress at the Off West End Theatre Awards. Her television work includes Call the Midwife, Grantchester and Unprecedented: Going Forward. She will be joined by Ben Castle-Gibb who has recently been seen in Frankenstein (Perth Theatre/ Belgrade Theatre/UK tour) and Season 4 of hit Netflix show You.
If you’re in London, or planning to visit soon, be sure to book your tickets before shows sell out.