You somehow feel that none of the young staff of Renée’s bakery are going to be winning the Great British Bake-off anytime soon with their hapless efforts, but Alex Joynes new piece certainly rises to the occasion and there is no soggy bottom in this warm-hearted play about teenagers coming to terms with the struggles and disappointments that life throws at them.
The struggling high street independent is under a hostile takeover from Cotstabucks and while some of the employees consider applying for jobs with the company they are all looking to make the enforced change into an opportunity to spread their wings.
There are tales of rejection on both romantic and career paths woven into this gently witty piece, along with portraits of young people discovering who they are and coming to terms with each other’s different views of the world.
The six-strong cast are Josie Sedgewick Davies, Emily Woosey, Lucy Harris, Tom Harrington, Nick Crosbie and Jamie Brownson. All are locally based and four have previously been seen in Young Everyman Playhouse productions, including The Grid, which was co-written by Alex Joynes.
Set design is by Adele Hayter, who is a graduate of LIPA and won this year’s design prize from the Everyman & Playhouse. Half Baked is directed by Chris Tomlinson and Natasia Bullock and the remaining production team are all members of YEP.
Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and YEP are promoting the Young Theatre Makers project along with Birmingham Rep and New Wolsey Ipswich. Half Baked, co-produced by YEP as part of this programme, will be playing in various northern venues in November prior to a national tour next spring.