Is Bread a Metaphor for Social Change? Two New Productions to Debut at Contact Theatre this Month

The Glad Game and The Bread We Break are two female-led shows that explore themes of childhood, sadness and heartbreak.

By Emma Davidson | 4 March 2022

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This March, Contact Theatre has two incredible productions making their debut at the theatre.

On Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th March, Phoebe Frances Brown’s The Glad Game is the story of Phoebe finding herself in the bleakest of times, discovering gladness in the saddest of moments and about how who and what you love can pull you through. 

“You don’t have to do much to be an actor; just to be able speak and remember lines. Two very basic things,” said Phoebe. 

Phoebe is an actor, and the role has defined who and what she is from a very young age, from her childhood impressions of Dolly Parton to grown-up roles at The National Theatre, The Donmar Warehouse and New York Theatre Workshop.

In November 2018 Phoebe was diagnosed with an incurable cancer in the area of her brain that controls speech, language and memory. Despite going through surgery and chemotherapy Phoebe has continued her career on stage and has written all about it in her one-woman show, The Glad Game.

The Glad Game is Co-Produced by Nottingham Playhouse and Pippa Frith, Sound Design by Iain Armstrong, supported by Arts Council England, Television Workshop, The Bush and Leicester Curve. The charity partners for this particular production are Brain Tumour Research.

The second show, The Bread We Break attempts to piece together fragments from an untold history. Showing from the 24th – 31st of March, Miray Sidhom will draw on her Egyptian heritage and explore Egypt’s suppressed history of political uprising. 

Weaving together memories of a childhood in Cairo, frank conversations with her mother, and archive footage, she questions bread’s cultural symbolism and fermentation as a metaphor for social change.

A decade on from the Arab Spring, Miray traces the origins of uprisings to the first workers strike in the Pharonic era. The Bread We Break attempts to piece together fragments from an untold history, to knead the past into the present and to feed the future. 

Oscillating between personal and political, Miray reconciles and celebrates her Middle Eastern heritage; exposing the way everyday aspects of our lives can be politicised and controlled, and asks what are we driven to do when our fundamental rights are threatened?

Miray is an emerging theatre practitioner, combining elements of film, soundscapes, poetry, and movement to create experimental and thought-provoking performances which deconstruct a concept through form. 

She’s been part of Contact Young Company, including as Assistant Artist for Baby Fever. Independently, she created If I Knew it was Harmless I would’ve Killed it Myself (GM Fringe 2017). Miray has recently graduated with an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and is one-sixth of ClusterFlux Collective.

You can grab tickets to both shows via the link below.


The Glad Game

The Bread We Break