In a remote village two sisters lead a devoted life centred on their father, the local minister, and their church. Renowned for their beauty and talent for singing both had opportunities to marry and leave the village. But their father objected in each case and they spent their lives caring for him.
Many years later – their father now deceased – finds the sisters taking in a French refugee fleeing a brutal war. Babette Hersant. She asks to be their servant. She goes about her work quietly.
Time passes and many years later and with much luck, Babette wins the French lottery. In order to repay the sisters for their kindness Babette offers to cook a French meal for them and their friends on the 100th anniversary of their father’s birth.
With so many years passing without a leader to guide them, the villagers have begun to bicker and fall out about. At the meal the sisters and the villagers swear to each other that they will not fall down as sinners in the eyes of the lord and they vow to not enjoy the meal. However such is the splendour and artistry of the food that they cannot but bask in the glory of Babette’s gift to them and as a result they forget their grievances and are overcome by a profound sense of grace and communion.
Babette’s Feast is a tale that honours talent over fame and is a moving celebration of thanksgiving and community.
Our development period will consist of devising the text from the original story and finding our story telling medium. We will explore working with Masks, live music and using French, Welsh and English as our speaking languages. Joining Artistic Directors Robert and Elen Bowman will be writer/performer/musician Dafydd James.
This development period is supported by a grant from Arts Council Wales, National Theatre Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol.