Nottingham Fringe Interview – ‘What’s Cooking?’

Impact Arts returns to the New Theatre this week to speak to Gary Berezin and Dina Elkordy, director and producer of this week’s Fringe show: ‘What’s Cooking?’, written by Gary himself.


Firstly, what is ‘What’s Cooking?’ about?

Gary: What’s Cooking?  is a show about making the most of everything we have. Set in a dingy restaurant in the US, several characters end up crossing paths on an evening where all of them are going through their own troubled pasts. Throughout an evening of wine and good company, their pasts become unveiled. The play explores how the mistakes and choices of one person can sometimes have consequences on others, by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dina: I think it’s about how easy it is for people to lose the things they so often take for granted.


Gary, ‘What’s Cooking?’ is your own writing, so where did you get the idea for the play?

G: I got the idea for the play back at NSDF 2014. I had a rough idea that I wanted to get across and ended up creating the setting and characters around it. I wanted to write a script that got across a message that people can take away from the performance. What’s Cooking? is the end result of that process. I suppose there were some classic 90s movies which inspired elements of the play, but nothing stands out as a single point of reference.


And how was the writing process?

G: This is the first play I have ever written. The process was rather all over the place. I had a point A and point B pretty early on around April. But the dialogue was not written until September. Lots of changes came about post-casting. All the wonderful cast brought their own interpretation to the characters and most are better off for it.


What made you want to propose this play for Fringe season?

G: I wanted an intimate stage. As the audience comes into the space, they will walk through the restaurant and feel like they are part of this story. I also feel that the theme of missed opportunities and wasted time is something I personally – and I’m sure others – can relate to.


And finally, if you could summarise the play in three words, what would they be?

G: Intimate, engaging, personal

D: Fun, different, witty


Charlotte Van Rhee

‘ What’s Cooking?’ is on in Studio A at the Nottingham New Theatre on Sunday 30th November at 7:30pm and Monday 1st December at 7:30 and 9:30pm. For more information, see here

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