Category - Project

Xhosa Cole – The Hand That Feeds – At the End of the Day.

At the End of the Day

by Xhosa Cole

Xhosa Cole - THTF

Before having met Kate Cooper I’d never really thought about the food that I’d used to put into my body. Of course I’d always been lectured about 5-a-day, 2 litres of water a day and that stuff but as far a I was concerned I was a invincible teenaged boy without a care in the world- as long as my stomach wasn’t rumbling I was happy!

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Graeme Rose – The Hand That Feeds – Wake Up Call

The Hand That Feeds

by Graeme Rose

gargoyle - The Hand That FeedsIt was while planning the first of the New Optimists’ Narrativium performances, ‘Food Futures’, in the summer of 2014, that Kate Cooper started talking about what she called her “Mad Opera” – inspired by the Horsemeat Scandal which had precipitated a media and ministerial storm back in 2013.

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Mez Packer – The Hand That Feeds – IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD


Mez PackerIt was back in spring, 2015, when Kate Cooper asked if I’d like to be involved in a “mad food crime opera”. The challenge, she said, was to turn facts about food crime into an entertaining and accessible story. I was dubious, I mean what was food crime? But Kate’s passion about raising awareness about food adulteration and food fraud was infectious, and I was hooked.

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Sara Colman – The Hand That Feeds – Why a Musical?

Sara in rehearsal

Why a Musical?

musical (noun): a stage, television or film production utilizing popular-style songs – dialogue optional – to tell a story

Blog Post By Sara Colman

I’ve had a secret love of musicals since I was a kid. Instead of doing my overdue homework, Fred and Ginger would fuel my procrastination by singing and dancing their way through my Sunday afternoons.

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The #StopFoodCrime THTF team – part one – Creatives

Who’s who in the team?

Production Day

From left to right (below): Kate Cooper, Al Gurr, Sam Fox, Chris Cuthbert, Anthony Miles, Xhosa Cole, Sara Colman (on keyboard) Mez Packer, Graeme Rose, Charlotte Gregory.


By Kate Cooper

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Time to make a song and dance and #StopFoodCrime

We have the songs, the music, a choir, the performers… now all we need is you and your family and friends.

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Global food security: Shifting through the crap, crud and crucial

paulbradshaw_amsterdamPaul Bradshaw asked me to advise a postgrad journalism student with his chosen topic, global food security. Getting my head round that was a great exercise in shifting through the crap, the crud and the crucial.

The crucial: Stuff from Achim Dobermann et al at the Warwick Climate Change Forum 2015, from the Warwick GRP Food programme (incl John Ingram and Molly Jahn’s stuff here) — plus info in What it takes to feed the city (pp 15-26).

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Narrativium & The Norm Chronicles

TheNormChroniclesWhat has the hugely entertaining book The Norm Chronicles got to do with the Narrativium Project?

An entertaining book? Yes. Sometimes hilarious, yup. And it’s about statistics?

How come? The two authors understand the power of narrativium. One is Cambridge statistician David Spiegelhalter who ‘lives on a flood plain but is more anxious about forgetting where he put the house keys‘; t’other is writer Michael Blastland.

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The mac, the Narrativium commission & 27th June

Daniel Whitehouse, the brilliant Next Generation producer at mac birmingham, is organising the commission of emerging creatives for our Narrativium Project.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 27th June.


It’s a great opportunity for three young creatives. They’ll get to work with producer Jo Carr of Untied Artists, and theatre director Graeme Rose as well as perform ‘stories from the future’ based on the scientists’ assessment of possible food futures for all of us.

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Why narrativium matters

It was Terry Pratchett who coined the term ‘narrativium’ as the element upon which we humans run.

HonoraryWizardsIt was New Optimist Jack Cohen who describes us humans as pan narrans, the storytelling rather than homo sapiens. (And Jack and mathematician Ian Stewart joined forces with Terry Pratchett to write the Science of Discworld series, and thereby became Hon Wizards of the Unseen University.)

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