Get a taste for storytelling at Sydney Festival 2020 show, Double Delicious

Double Delicious Sydney Festival

Get a taste for storytelling at Sydney Festival 2020 show, Double Delicious

Featured image by Alison Laird, text below from Sydney Festival website.

From Contemporary Asian Australian Performance (CAAP), creators of the Sydney Festival 2014 smash hit The Serpent’s Table, comes a second helping of spicy and sumptuous storytelling.

In a stimulating experience for the senses, stellar storyteller-cooks Benjamin Law, Elizabeth Chong, Valerie Berry, Raghav Handa and Heather Jeong reveal their stories and the secrets of their dishes.

We got the chance to Executive Producer Annette Shun Wah. Learn more about the show by reading her Q&A with CulturalPulse below!

Why do you believe The Serpent’s Table was so popular in 2014 and how has this concept been revamped for Sydney Festival 2020?
The Serpent’s Table provided a really unusual audience experience.  The storytellers generously shared personal stories that were profoundly moving and insightful, in a setting that was like a multi-sensory theatrical installation.  You never knew what to expect from one moment to the next, as the small audience moved from one storyteller’s “world” to another.  And the stories were so powerful, people were determined to taste the dishes, even breaking personal taboos, in order to complete their experience of the stories.

We want to replicate that strong compulsion to truly experience every moment in Double Delicious, but this time instead of the audience moving around the space, they will stay seated while storytellers come in and out.  That allows us to accommodate more patrons – last time the entire season sold out in 5 minutes – yet still create an intimate, immersive environment.  And our new set of five stories take us to very different memories, tastes and insights.  Fresh flavours, if you like, but still deeply satisfying.

Double Delicious Sydney FestivalPhoto credit: Ashley de Prazer

Why do you think stories involving food are so compelling?
Food connects us directly to memory, family and important moments in our lives –  pivotal ones, or celebratory ones.  I’ve found that talking to people about food often cuts through to the core of deeply personal lived experiences, providing the basis for compelling stories, which we not only hear, but also see, feel, smell and taste.  It’s a very immediate and memorable way in which to experience another person’s stories.

What do you believe is special about this cast in particular?
Our cast comprises two cooking experts, two trained performance-makers and a much admired writer/commentator, and they’re the warmest and most entertaining company on and off stage.  We have been very fortunate to be able to assemble these charming and wise individuals, all sharing deeply personal stories that give such insight into some of the “big” questions we all grapple with. 

  • Heather Jeong knows the secret of making great kim chi, but takes a lifetime figuring out how to connect with a father she did not meet until she was 9 years old. 
  • Valerie Berry investigates how two people with vastly different personalities and background manage to make a successful marriage.
  • Raghav Handa grapples with the expectations of tradition and asks – what happens if we don’t honour our forebears. 
  • Benjamin Law dissects the notion of authenticity and skirts with its dangers, while simultaneously revealing a hidden culinary skill. 
  • The legendary Elizabeth Chong shares the wisdom that only someone who has taught cooking for 57 years can.

What do you hope the audience feels after watching the show?
I hope they feel they’ve experienced something unique, something surprising and satisfying that they could not have experienced any other way.  Most of all, I hope they feel hungry for more!   

Photo credit: Courtney Stewart

Double Delicious: Sydney Festival 2020
WHEN: January 8-12, 2020
WHERE: Carriageworks
COST: $85 + BF

For more information about Double Delicious, click HERE

Cultural Pulse

CulturalPulse is a platform to share stories of Australia’s multicultural achievement. We cover a range of topics including arts, sports, community updates and cross cultural industry articles, as well as a source of culturally-relevant events. CulturalPulse is a central hub for people to engage with, and stay up-to-date with their own community, while also learning more about other multicultural communities in the country.