An Audience with Nigella Lawson: The Lyric Theatre, the Lowry-Salford
Reviewer: Matthew Forrest
It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago one of the nation’s favourite food writers, Nigella Lawson, had her first book published How to Eat: Pleasures and Principles of Good Food. This food bible changed not just how we cook, but how we view food as well and has been a staple of book shelves and kitchens across the land. Twelve books on, numerous television series and now a nationwide tour, Lawson’s popularity shows no signs of waning.
An Audience with Nigella Lawson sees Lawson interviewed by food journalist and author, Bee Wilson. We get a peek into the origins of How to Eat: she finished the book in six weeks, writing a remarkable 28,000 words a day! We also gain an insight into the creative process for not just cooking but writing as well.
This isn’t Frost/Nixon; Wilson acts more as a prompt as Lawson goes through stories and anecdotes about food and her personal life. The show is insightful, at times full of humour and touching, as Lawson discusses the death of her first husband John Diamond. What is obvious from the outset is just how much passion she has for food and this makes the show an engaging and entertaining experience. At times Wilson struggled to move the show along – such is the passion and knowledge with which Lawson speaks.
Following the interval, the show became an audience Q & A session, with audience members heaping praise onto Lawson. However, there were some insightful questions about the trappings of fame and what would be her death row meal: a seven-course feast with chicken, steak, linguini, and a ‘really stinky’ blue cheese.
By the end of the show the audience were putty in Lawson’s hand and with the promise of a book signing, some audience members were lapping it up. This is a funny, insightful and at times moving show that like so many of Lawson’s recipes will leave you wanting more, although one word of warning… all the food talk won’t do anyone currently dieting any favours whatsoever!
3 ½ Stars