Recently in conversation with Manchester’s Finest – actors Jessica Forrest and Ben Ryan-Davies took to the stage or more accurately the floor of a makeshift chip shop to entertain audiences throughout the North.
Focusing on love at different ages and celebrating the nation’s favourite food, Chip Shop Chips is an immersive love story where the audience receive their own chippy tea to boot.
Manchester-based Box of Tricks is a theatre company that champions the next generation of playwrights. This production is directed by Box of Tricks’ Joint Artistic Director and co-founder Adam Quayle and is its third national touring production.
With the audience seated behind their hefty portion of fish and chips, the actors played out the drama amongst the crowd.
The chip shop is run by Eric (Russell Richardson), and with him is his trusty apprentice Lee (Ryan-Davies). Sitting amongst the audience are also the two heroines of the piece, Jasmine (Forrest), and her glitzy Grandmother Christine (Julie Edwards).
Tense looks and wistful glances are passed between both young and old couples as the evening progresses through a multitude of dramatic twists and turns.
Writer of the piece Becky Prestwich works within the genre of Kitchen Sink Realism, somehow managing to maintain the excitement and intrigue with just four characters, a counter, one table and a couple of cans of coke.
Ryan-Davies and Forrest proved that their talents didn’t belong just in front of the camera, both giving excellent performances and Ryan-Davies particularly demonstrating how well he could work a crowd.
Richardson and Edwards gave the sort of performance that leaves you (subtly) wiping tears from your eyes as they played out Prestwich’s charming tale of love lost and found.
The audience got the chance to play their own role in the drama as taking part in the chippy shop chip related quiz whilst swigging from their own cans of coke.
This was nowhere near your typical night at the theatre but an absolute experience – and a good one at that.
Prestwich has devised a piece of immersive theatre that works brilliantly. She’s written a script and created characters that stay with you for days after.
Chip Shop Chips tours the North until March 23rd – definitely a play to catch while you still can!