As regular readers are aware, I love food and theatre, so I thought it’d be nice to tell you about something coming up for free!
‘The Hand That Feeds’ is a theatrical song cycle about food crime. Food crime, which involves fraud at any stage in the production or supply of food or drink, is a widespread and growing problem that affects us all. The project was conceived of by Kate Cooper, founder of The New Optimists: a forum for regional scientists.
‘The Hand That Feeds’ is composed by Sara Colman,written by Mez Packer and directed by Graeme Rose.
It follows the story of Robbie, “a hardworking family man” raised in Birmingham who comes to realise the impact of his role in the food supply chain and the difference he can make.
The project aims to raise public awareness of the issues and the widespread implications of food crime — both locally and nationally — and to create a platform for discussion. The New Optimists’ conviction is that a fun arts-based events can have a big impact in enabling a wider audience to engage in social matters, such as food crime, where the role of science, here the forensics of food fraud, play a big part in making our world a better place.
The content was built with people from across the food supply network in Birmingham, the largest economic sector in the city. As well as the core professional actor- musicians, The New Optimists are working with Castle Vale Community Choir, who will be the ensemble for the piece.
Professor Chris Elliott, who led the Government review into the integrity and assurance of our food supply network after the horsemeat scandal, and who coined the term ‘food crime’, is the Scientific Advisor on the project.
The free, outdoor performances of ‘The Hand That Feeds’ are taking place on / at:
Saturday 10th June: 12pm near St Cuthberts Church, Caste Vale, B35 7PL
Tuesday 13th June at 1pm in Victoria Square, B1 1BB
Audiences are encouraged to follow the conversation both in the run up to and during the live shows with #StopFoodCrime.
Founder Kate Cooper said: “The New Optimists is a forum of top-notch regional scientists from diverse scientific disciplines, keen to make our world a better place. Their work matters and The New Optimists is about getting their work — and their informed perspective — in on decision-making. This musical is one of many ways to do so.”
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