Red Ladder Theatre Company is teaming up with Liverpool’s Royal Court this autumn to co-produce Homebaked – The Musical, bringing the story of Liverpool’s famous co-operative bakery to the stage. Playwright Boff Whalley, a founder member of the band Chumbawamba, has written this uplifting musical drama which is inspired by the real-life events of a group of residents coming together to save their neighbourhood bakery – and their homes – from demolition.
Back in 2012, the people of Anfield faced losing a huge slice of their local community to property developers. Things were looking bleak until a group of like-minded individuals got together and declared: “enough is enough”. Seeking a place for locals to earn a crust they transformed a crumbling old bakery. Homebaked was born.
This was the first step on an epic journey. What started with a half-baked idea rose and peaked until it had spawned a thriving community business with plans to transform the adjacent terrace into environmentally sustainable, quality homes and commercial spaces with affordable rent. Is it really possible? A piece of cake.
As part of the new co-production, Liverpool’s Royal Court and Red Ladder will be working with members of the community in Anfield to create a choir that will become a part of the show.
Homebaked – The Musical is directed by Red Ladder’s artistic director, Rod Dixon. He says, “I’m thrilled to be making a new piece of work in the city where I grew up. This true-life story of locals standing up to save their community in Anfield is ripe for adapting into an uplifting new musical drama. The story behind the Homebaked bakery and Community Land Trust is incredibly inspiring; a real show of working-class resilience, pride and defiance and the power of people pulling together and refusing to bow down to bullies.
Liverpool’s Royal Court is the perfect partner for Red Ladder in creating this new co-production; both organisations put local communities at the heart of our work. As well as experiencing a great night out, our audiences feel represented, moved and inspired watching stories unfold on stage that reflect their real lives.”
Writer Boff Whalley says: “I was asked to be involved in writing a musical about Homebaked and I thought it was perfect – a great real life story of a community pulling together. What I loved about making Homebaked into a musical comedy is that it’s a good night out, and a way to feel inspired and positive. Music and laughter are so important to stories like this – changing the world one singalong chorus at a time. It’s what we all need right now; that sense of feeling stronger together.”
Kevin Fearon, Executive Producer at Liverpool’s Royal Court says: “Red Ladder are one of this country’s leading theatre companies and it’s been a personal ambition to work with them on a show for our audience. Their work starts with people’s real stories and then they turn it in to something magical. I am excited about what they will bring to our stage”.
Homebaked – The Musical will receive its premiere staging at Liverpool’s Royal Court from 24 September to 23 October 2021. For tickets and more information, please visit www.redladder.co.uk