The food crime musical: “What we have now is a way of translating something very important and scary to a lot of people”

Professor Chris Elliott flew over from Belfast to see the two street performances of The Hand That Feeds: A musical about food crime in front of 2.5K people on 14th May, a busy Saturday shopping day outside St Martin in the Bullring.

Along with others, the Prof is interviewed in this short video shot on the day, saying “we now have a new way of translating something very important and scary to a lot of people.”

Nicola Temple, co-author of Sorting the beef from the bull: The science of food fraud forensics, travelled up from her home town of Bristol to see it, and was also interviewed by filmmaker Mat Beckett.

We received loads of compliments from the audiences, such as I had no idea what food crime was. Great ideaThe acting was excellent. Such good music. Excellent all round. Very educational. Really good. Well produced. Space was the perfect size, created a great balance between performance and audience. Great setting with markets and restaurants nearby. 

Castle Vale Choir (“my heroes” according to composer Sara Colman, three of whom — James, Jason and Aaron singing the ‘Vodka Rap’ in the image above) was joined professional musicians, Xhosa Cole and Al Gurr, along with singer actors Sam Fox and Anthony Miles, all under the direction of Graeme Rose who opened the show and played several parts himself.

The producer was Charlotte Gregory. She’s also interviewed in this video and featured along with the other professionals in the trailer video shot during the first development day last March.

With Sara’s catchy songs and a superbly crafted libretto by Mez Packer, we now have a new, highly entertaining way to engage people about the threat to us from food crime.

The musical gives us memorable storylines about the possible provenance of the food we buy, and how we can protect ourselves from the dangers of consuming criminally contaminated food and drink.

As one of the songs ends: be vigilant, think twice, stop food crime!

And the musical hashtag, #StopFoodCrime, trended number 3 across the UK that Saturday afternoon.

The Birmingham Food Council was a key supporter of this New Optimists musical. along others:


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