Toast, by Richard Bean

Richard Bean’s play about the Sunday shift in a Hull bread plant, although driven by comedy, steers well clear of the zany in favour of realistic observational material. The dramas are played out: when the main oven gets jammed, should they phone the management and thus provide an excuse for the company to close down the ageing plant, or risk life and limb by crawling inside to free things up? What will be the outcome of the manoeuvring for position between chargehand Blakey and Colin as regards the plum job at the new plant in Bradford? Is new hand Lance the student he at first claims to be, the angel of death as he later declares, or just a nutter from the local institution? Is the absent manager Beckett really “shagging that lass on custards”?

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