The Baker’s Wife brings a taste of France to Hull Truck

Published: Wednesday 19th July 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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Anyone who’s seen a performance by Hessle Theatre will already know of the company’s very high quality productions.

Over recent years they’ve staged popular shows such as Guys and DollsThe Hired Man and Avenue Q. This time they bring a slightly lesser-known but equally fabulous story to life in the form of The Baker’s Wife.

A musical romcom written by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell and Wicked) in conjunction with Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof), the Hull Truck Theatre audience is warmly introduced to a small village in Provence, 1935.

Immediately we discover two things: firstly, that the villagers have been without a baker for seven weeks, and secondly, that the lack of baked goods is causing petty misunderstandings and grudges to escalate.

wasnt-for-you

Amongst the quaint rural residents are the mayor, a teacher, a priest, and numerous local workers and business owners. Despite their various personalities and demeanours, the one thing they share in common is a desperate desire for fresh, warm bread.

Enter Aimable, the village’s new baker, who is immediately greeted with great delight. Alongside him is his wife, Genevieve, who receives an altogether different form of admiration.

With Genevieve being so much younger than Aimable, it is clear that the traditionalist villagers may find fault with the newly wedded couple’s union.

aimable-and-genevieve

The situation is exacerbated when Dominique enters the scene. A young, strong, confident man, he believes that he and Genevieve are made for each other. So begins an illicit affair that rocks the lives of everyone who dwells within this tiny community, not least the heartbroken baker.

Thrown into a frenzy caused by the sudden lack of divine baguettes and cheeky croissants, the villagers must pull together to save the day. This involves the most unlikely of characters putting aside their differences, some of which have existed for generations, and joining forces to do what’s right.

romance

As is to be expected, The Baker’s Wife is filled with wonderful songs, ranging from heartfelt melodies to stirring power ballads that rock the venue.

Hessle Theatre prides itself on strong and passionate cast members and ensembles, and this show really hammers home the company’s commitment to quality entertainment.

dominique

Whilst the company’s design team always puts a lot of effort into its set design, this time they’ve surely outdone themselves. Upon entering the auditorium you’ll find a charming French plaza, but there’s a little surprise in store that allows the scenes to transform beautifully.

We were also happily surprised to get a strong waft of freshly baked bread during the baker’s first round. Likewise, we felt relieved that the trick wasn’t applied when he burnt his buns beyond all recognition.

burnt-bread

The Baker’s Wife has so many excellent performances that it would be unfair to name just a few of the cast. Instead we’ll say that the whole company has done a sterling job at bringing to life a jolly and splendid tale – the perfect contribution to Hull’s year as the UK City of Culture.

To book your tickets to The Baker’s Wife, please call Hull Truck’s box office on 01482 323638, or you can book online.

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Published: Wednesday 19th July 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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