If you’re going to write a play about a great British institution – fish and chips – then it seems obvious that the only plaice to stage it is in your local chippy.
Becky Prestwich’s funny and nostalgic new tale of love over fish and chips – with a serving of Northern soul on the side – launches a tour this February.
And it’s leaving the traditional theatre behind to find performance spaces where there may be the offer of a side order of mushy peas and a saveloy thrown in for good measure.
Chip Shop Chips is a heart-warming new play focusing on love at different ages and celebrating the nation’s favourite food.
It is an immersive love story set in a chippy that will be performed in unusual spaces across the North of England.
Manchester theatre company Box of Tricks starts off its 10th anniversary year in February with CSC which follows its success, earlier this year, with new plays Plastic Figurines by Ella Carmen Greenhill and Narvik by Lizzie Nunnery.
The new play will open at The Hub in Salford and then tour the North of England until the end of March.
It’s the grand reopening of Booth’s Fish & Chip Shop. Eric has returned home, over 40 years after he left, and it’s time for a fresh start. But old flame Christine has other ideas.
Transported back to a time of chippy teas and Northern Soul, there’s unfinished business for these old lovers. Watching teenage love stumble as hapless Lee make a pass at the beautiful Jasmine, is it all just history repeating?
The production is directed by Box of Tricks’ joint artistic director and co-founder Adam Quayle (Plastic Figurines, Box of Tricks).
The cast will feature Ben-Ryan Davies (Wonderland, Hampstead Theatre and Waterloo Road, BBC), Russell Richardson (A Winter’s Tale, Northern Broadsides), Julie Edwards (Brief Encounters at Bradford Interchange, Freedom Studios), and, in her stage debut, Jessica Forrest (Hollyoaks and Coronation Street).
Becky Prestwich’s first full length play, Streetlights and Shadows was produced by Box of Tricks at Kennington’s White Bear Theatre and her second, Letting in Air, at the Old Red Lion, Islington.
She has had short plays performed at Theatre 503, the Union Theatre, Live Theatre and the Arcola.
Becky is currently on attachment to the BBC through their Writersroom 10 scheme. The initiative includes a seed commission to develop her play, How the Cabinet-Maker Crossed the Road.
The writer is also working with CBBC development producer, Simon Nelson, on an idea for children’s television. Her play Chopping Onions, starring Maureen Lipman, was recently heard on BBC Radio 4.
Director Adam Quayle said about the new play: “Becky and I have a long-standing creative relationship dating back to 2007, when we staged her first play, Streetlights and Shadows, in London.
“Becky is a wonderful playwright: her plays are beautifully crafted, warm and big-hearted. She delves into what it is to be human with an everyday poeticism that chimes with both heart and mind.
“I can’t wait to take her latest play, Chip Shop Chips, out on the road to unusual venues across the North – chip shops, village halls, community centres, libraries – engaging new audiences with a chippy tea and a great night out right there on their doorstep”.
North of England tour dates 2016
February 17-18, The Hub, Taylorson St, Salford
February 19, Silvester Horne Institute, Church Stretton.
February 20, Quatt Village Hall
February 22, The Swan, Southport
February 23, Marigolds, West Kirby
February 24, The Lobster Pot, Liverpool
February 26, Frosterley Village Hall, Co. Durham
February 27, Felton Village Hall, Northumberland
February 28, Shap Memorial Hall, Cumbria
February 29, 1pm, Culture Club & 7pm, R&G Club, Huddersfield
March 2, Oldham Library
March 3, Distington Community Centre, Distington
March 4, The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth
March 5, Muncaster Parish Hall, Ravenglass
March 6, Thursby Parish Hall, Thursby
March 7, Swinley Labour Club, Wigan
March 9, The Foxton Centre, Preston
March 10, Whitby Hall, Cheshire
March 11, Goostrey Village Hall
March 12, Winsford Library, Cheshire
March 13, Arnside Educational Institute, Cumbria
March 15, The Carlton Club, Bury
March 16, Ramsbottom Civic Hall
March 17, Fusiliers Museum, Bury
March 18, Calder Vale Village Hall
March 19, Hewitt Lecture room, Lytham
March 20, St Josephs Village Hall, Hoghton
March 21-23, Harrogate Theatre Studio.