We were invited to watch a play called Dough! at Gateshead Central Library this week. Dough! explores how life can be filled with colour and beauty when we step outside the beige world we know.
The show began even as we stepped into the theatre room; the smell of cooked bread and a warm feeling hit our senses as we found cushions on the floor for the boys and seats for us. We noticed the lady sat in the little house, and the set looked like a little kitchen with a crate on the floor nearby. On the crate was a kettle and toaster. We waited for a few minutes for the play to begin.
As it turned out, when the show actually began, there had been a man (Azad) behind the kitchen sideboard on the left of the stage, and a lady (Frankie) asleep in the cupboard behind the crate! Such a surprise and so funny to my 2 year old.
Frankie works in a cardboard box factory. Everyday seems the same until she’s asked to deliver to an unfamiliar place. Everything tastes, smells and feels different there. There she discovers Azad, a baker who shows her how fantastic things can be done with ordinary stuff. And what could be more ordinary than the dough that makes the everyday staples that remind us of home.
The lady in the hut was a brilliant singer, singing in Urdu and English, and smiling along with the show as there are some really funny moments as it runs through. I really enjoyed the music in the show. Dough! is a real experience for all the senses. You can hear the music in the video below.
At one point Azad is making dough balls, and plays with the dough, pretending that it’s eating the other balls and then his hand. Noah laughed and laughed. James (4) sagely informed his daddy that the dough wasn’t really eating his hand. “It’s just pretend”. So there you have the differences between my children highlighted in one little scene.
As the relationship between Frankie and Azad develops, they dance and mime together to recreate places they knew as children, evoked after eating food baked by Azad. The set changes away from the boring homes of Azad and Frankie, and becomes the little beach hut of Scarborough and a house in Pakistan.
Spices scent the air, scarves and coloured flour are thrown, and the music fills your ears while you watch the pair dance together. Dough! is a lot of fun.
At the end there’s a 20 minute stay and play session for the young audience to touch and play with the flour and dough that the cast have been using during the show. Noah was straight in there with his shoes and socks off, and squidging the dough into various shapes. He’d then shout to the actor who played Azad, “Look what mine made!”, who generously agreed it was amazing. James wasn’t feeling too well, and simply held the dough until just before he was advised it was the end of the session. Then he ripped it into small pieces, rolled them into balls and declared that he’d made a ladybird (his favourite thing).
Where can you watch Dough!?
We really enjoyed the show Dough! by Olivia Furber and Creative Scene. We watched it at Gateshead Libraries, but it’s on tour and you might be able to see it at a library near you! It’s most suitable for children aged 3-8yrs old. Noah at 2 did enjoy it, but didn’t want to sit still for the whole play.
April 6 at Burnley Central Library
April 7 at Arkholme Village Hall
April 11 and 12 at Mind The Gap Studios, Bradford
I’ll bet this show inspires a whole lot of bread making! It could be a fun idea to be ready to bake when you return from the play Dough! if you go to watch it.