The Hand That Feeds – a musical about food crime


Performed outside St.Martin’s in the Bullring on the 14th May 2016, “The Hand That Feeds” was the premiere of a new piece of work by The New Optimists, and the latest in the Narrativium series. The project was the brainchild of New Optimists founder Kate Cooper (who is also the Chair of the Birmingham Food Council), and was written by composer Sara Colman / writer Mez Packer. It addresses an issue that has huge global implications but which is identified and policed all too scarcely. The recent so-called Horsemeat Scandal” helped bring the concept of Food Fraud to public attention, but this headline-grabbing story is just the tip of the iceberg lettuce, so to speak. It is very much hoped that more opportunities for performing the 40-minute song-cycle will be found in the future.

I had the pleasure of directing the piece, which features Anthony Miles and Sam ‘Frankie’ Fox on vocals, Al Gurr on keyboard and Xhosa Cole on a variety of wind instruments. The team were completed with the marvellous Castle Vale Community Choir, who filled in with a variety of cameos. The intrepid Charlotte Gregory, aside from producing the piece, donned her spangles for a featured role as backing singer.

Here is a trailer, edited from the day’s performances by Mat Beckett of River Rea  Films.


One Response to “The Hand That Feeds – a musical about food crime”

  1. Great article.

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