An immersive work that features four vocalists and four dancers, singing for their supper in a dining setting that may contain food.
May Contain Food is a witty piece of dance and music theatre and is inspired by social occasions and life at mealtimes. The performers invite you to sit at a table, offer a tasting menu and then serve you a show that explores our relationship with food. All sound is performed a cappella as movement is composed and music is choreographed, creating an intimate experience of indulgence, nostalgia and mischief.
Running time: 90 minutes
"The tone of the production throws some perfectly aimed barbs at the weirdness, excess and complacency of today’s foodie culture." The Guardian
"An investigation of our relationship with food that’s cooking with gas" The Stage
"Orlando Gough’s score is splendidly, sonorously odd, with echoes of Corsican polyphony." The Observer
"this is a show that genuinely blurs the lines between music theatre and dance, agile a cappella voices and bodies in synthesis as they skip across topics..." Evening Standard
"Each scenario, memory or lecture is conveyed through fluidly crafted relationships between language, movement and song, making for a richly textured and often surreal experience." London Dance
"An absorbing smorgasbord of food-related ideas and issues, containing humour, pathos and sensuality." Dance Tabs
Sonya Cullingford is a London-based actor, dancer and musician. She recently filmed a role in Barry Levinson’s Harry Haft, appeared as Wally in BBC2’s Egon Schiele; Dangerous Desires and Satan in Impermanence’s The Ballet of the Nations. She performs regularly with Impermanence Dance Theatre, in Wayne Parsons’ Vestige. She has worked extensively with Will Tuckett, most recently in Elizabeth at the Barbican. She was original cast in Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man, played ‘Lavinia’ in Titus Andronicus, and has also appeared in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl and Les Miserables. She is currently performing in London playing ‘Anna’ in Souvenir with Any One Thing. She is represented in London by Eadon Management.
Sonya performed in Protein’s multidisciplinary May Contain Food.
Martin has a varied career as an actor, singer and musician. He performed as singer/guitarist in local rock bands from the age of 16, then trained as an actor at East 15.
After three years of rep he portrayed ‘Joseph’ and went on to play other title roles including Tommy in The Who’s rock opera, both Jesus and Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and specialised as Frank ‘n Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, appearing in five different productions in the UK, South Africa and Europe over a 15 year period. He has played principal roles in the West End shows Les Misérables, Godspell and Return to the Forbidden Planet.
He continues to have a long association with Opera Della Luna and since 2012 has been a member of The Flying Pickets.
Originally from Manchester, Carl Harrison graduated from London Contemporary Dance School with a 1st Class Honours and was also the co-winner of the Deutsche Bank Pyramid Award for Contemporary Dance.
He has worked with Punchdrunk Theatre Company in London. His previous credits include working with Aletta Collins (Carmen, Salzburg), Maresa Von Stockert (SEASAW), Colin Poole, Katie Green, Darren Ellis, Junk Ensemble, Fitzgerald & Stapleton and Thick & Tight. He first worked with Luca Silvestrini’s Protein in 2014 on their outdoor piece Windows in Progress as part of the Royal Opera House Deloitte Ignite Festival.
Apart from performing, Carl’s other passions are women’s rights and food. Preferably at the same time.
Michael is a London-born multi-genre composer, baritone vocalist and musical director, who studied clarinet and composition at the Royal College of Music 1981-85 and began his professional career as a member of rock group Buddy Curtess and the Grasshoppers from 1985-89.
He has worked in a directorial capacity with the National, Young Vic, Royal Court, Almeida theatres, Leeds Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, Old Vic and Royal & Derngate among others, and as a vocal animateur on several BBC and schools projects. He has both sung and written a number of a cappella ensembles including The Shout and Flying Pickets.
Backing vocal experiences include Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, George Michael, Robbie Williams, Chrissy Hynde, Billy Bragg, Jamelia, Michael Ball, The Pet Shop Boys, Cliff Richard, Dave McAlmont, Ian Shaw, Ray Davies and Renato Zero. He has also been the main or sole support act for Michael Jackson, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Lisa Stansfield, Aswad, Edwin Starr and many more.
Classical vocal experiences include featured roles with Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, Ensemble X, Shiva Nova and Matrix Ensemble, plus appearances in televised operas by Mark Anthony Turnage, Orlando Gough, Jenni Roditi and Jocelyn Pook.
Michael has also provided film and TV vocals for Aladdin (2019), Star Wars (episode 1), Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned, Pop Idols, X-Factor, Saturday Night Divas and the 2006 Honda Choir.
Saara Hurme is a London-based dancer, performer and personal trainer. Originally from Finland, Saara trained at Theatre Academy Helsinki and continued her studies into an MA in Dance Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Music and Dance in London, where she was part of the post-graduate company Transitions 2014-2015.
Upon graduation, Saara joined Protein for the development and tour of May Contain Food. Saara’s other work experience as performer includes works by Gingerline and Tavaziva Dance in London, and Brokentalkers in Ireland.
Saara collaborates regularly with her father, Finnish author and theatre maker Juha Hurme, their latest project together being the critically acclaimed play Lemminkäinen in Finnish National Theatre in 2018. Integral to Saara’s practice as a dancer and singer is also an ongoing collaboration with London-based electronic musician Sarah Miller.
Louise has been performing since she was 16, but returned to study jazz at the Guildhall School of Music in her late twenties. Apart from singing jazz, Louise had a hit record in the 1980s touring Europe and making several appearances on TV, including on ‘Top of the Pops’, working alongside artists including DuranDuran, Spandau Ballet, The Smiths and Jermaine Jackson.
Her career took a new turn when she joined vocal ensemble The Shout, a mix of vocal genres put together by Orlando Gough and Richard Chew. The Shout has performed in many European countries, America and closer to home at the BBC Proms. Louise recorded her debut album in 2008, ‘Things in Life’, which has been featured on Jazz FM. She has worked with singer/songwriter Ronnie Haar promoting his album, ‘Songs about Birds’. Louise is also a qualified Yoga teacher and teaches singing on the performing arts degree course at Colchester Institute.
Donna is a classically trained soprano who trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed extensively throughout the UK at venues including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, St John’s Smith Square, and Kings Place.
Donna is a keen advocate for contemporary music, and has premiered many new works by living composers.
For Protein, Donna has performed in May Contain Food and The Little Prince.
Matthew began his training at Laban, completing his degree with first class honours. He then spent a year at London Contemporary Dance School as a member of EDge, the post graduate dance company, performing work by Trisha Brown, Ben Wright and Kerry Nicholls. After graduating, Matthew went on to work with Bare Bones dance company, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and was a founding member of Ben Wright’s company, Bgroup. He has also worked with Liam Steele and Robert Tannion in their company Stan Won’t Dance, performed in operas at home and abroad, taught classes and workshops, and completed his MA at London Contemporary Dance School.
In 2012 Matthew began working with Luca Silvestrini’s Protein, notably performing in (In)visible Dancing and May Contain Food. In his most recent work with the company, Matthew completed a rural tour of the duet May Contain Food, May Contain You.
Since 2017 he has also toured Night at the Theatre with Casson and Friends, created The Quiet with Glasshouse dance, and taught a series of children’s dance classes in China. He has just completed a tour of Sleuth with Zoie Logic Dance Theatre – an interactive film Noir detective story.
Conceived and directed by
Devised and performed by
Music composed by
Lighting design by
Assistants to the Director
Additional material devised by
Promo trailer by
Spitalfields Music, Shoreditch Town Hall, London
6 December 2016
26 November 2016
ARC Stockton Arts Centre, Stockton on Tees
24 November 2016
South Hill Park, Bracknell
8 June 2016
2 & 3 June 2016
Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury
29 May 2016 part of Salisbury International Arts Festival
The Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds
26 May 2016
The Point, Eastleigh
24 & 25 May 2016
Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth
19 & 20 May 2016
The Place, London
20 April-7 May 2016
The Castle, Wellingborough
13 April 2016
Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London (excerpt)
9 April 2016 produced by Duckie
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
16 March 2016 part of British Dance Edition
AMATA, Falmouth University, Falmouth
12 March 2016
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
9 & 10 March 2016
UHArts, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
3 & 4 March 2016
Compass Room, The Lowry, Salford
1 & 2 March 2016
The Place, London (excerpt)
28 November 2015 part of Fresh
19-21 November 2015
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