The Syrian Baker
The Syrian Baker is the latest production brought to our village by MVP. Travelling from village hall to village hall, Farnham Maltings arrived in their van and bought us ‘The Syrian Baker’, written by Kevin Dyer and directed by Gavin Stride. From the minute we walked into St, John’s Hall, we could smell the coffee, see the string lights twinkling and delight in the beautifully set tables with flowers, seeds and spices … and we just knew it was going to be another outstanding evening of theatre in Mortimer.
With almost 5% of the world’s population on the move, who are desperate to get away from troubled cities, this is a story of those who have decided to go home despite the state of their country.
With three members in the cast, we were taken on a journey of life in Syria, the heat, the smells, the destruction of their homes and way of life, to finding love and loosing it all – and then rebuilding new lives and starting over – all while making Markook flat bread, pouring cups of Syrian coffee and sharing their Maamoul cakes and Hummus. After the show, the audience were invited to share and enjoy the bread and trimmings and we gathered round the Tava, an upturned traditional metal plate, to watch them bake the bread and the hall was filled with goodwill and great conversation as the audience had a chance to talk to one another as well as the cast, crew, director and writer.
This show is a human story about coming home, knowing where you belong and how small actions can make a big difference in one's life and in re-building a community. It is a play about humanity, hope and courage told with affection, irrepressible humour and bread ….. because without bread nothing else will happen! But this also challenged our thinking and made me think again about how we all have so much more in common than we realise and how we all just want the same things in life. A safe home, a caring community, a loving family, work …. and bread!
It left me feeling even more grateful for the life we have in Mortimer and want to say thank you so much to the Mortimer Village Partnership Team for bringing us another fantastic evening full of humour, hope, courage ….. and bread! The food was great, but the food for thought was even better.
The Syrian Baker, performed at St. John’s Hall, Mortimer on Saturday, 9 October 2021