Culture Street

Theatre

Steve Rodgers on his passion for food

On June 25, 2014

Steve’s play Ray’s Tempest was shortlisted for the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award and nominated in the Best New Australian Work category of the Sydney Theatre Awards, following productions at both Belvoir and Melbourne Theatre Company. Steve’s second work Savage River played at the Griffin Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company and the Tasmanian Theatre Company, and was also nominated for Best New Australian Work at the Sydney Theatre Awards. As well as writing for television, Steve has worked as an actor in film, theatre and television for the last 20 years. His latest work Food is on at Riverside Theatres from the 1st July.

You are an actor and a writer. Do you have a preference?
I think the most honest answer is I want to be doing the thing I’m not doing. If I’m being employed as an actor, I want time to write, and when I have a writing deadline, I dream of being on stage or in front of the camera.

What was the inspiration behind Food?
I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking about Food and Sex. They’re both infinitely beautiful things, completely necessary to our survival, but when the ‘want’ gets too great, can be potentially dangerous. Beautiful and dangerous make for great drama.

How do the elements of drama, comedy, dance and cookery combine in this production?
The play explores Food (Cookery) Sex (Comedy/Drama) Family (Comedy/Drama) Memory (Drama/Comedy) Intimacy and the body (Dance) and literally breaks bread with the audience (Cookery) It’s a theatrical banquet.

What were the challenges involved in putting on this production?
Telling stories is always about what to leave out, and what to put in. You kill a lot of ideas you love, for the sake of the story. But apart from that, not eating the props, composting, and knowing when you’re off task because you’re having too much fun.

Should the audience eat before attending a performance?
Yeah, I’d recommend a snack rather than a meal, maybe some cheese and some wine, and then an ice cream on the way home.

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