Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Written by Mark O'Neil
Produced by MORA Theater

Nominated for: Outstanding Solo Performance, Laura Hooper

About the Production
Crumble is a dark, funny and emotionally powerful one-woman play, hosted by ‘Sylvie Cranshaw’, a baking-obsessed housewife with an unravelling private life. Set in a real kitchen, this is an innovative, interactive, site-specific play.

‘Sylvie Cranshaw’, is a quintessential northern English housewife with a passion for cooking up sauce in the kitchen, fresh meat and spicy innuendo. A woman trying to escape her monotonous existence, she mistakes fantasy for reality and loses herself somewhere in the middle. Hidden between the lines of her scrawled recipe notes and the pages of her romantic fiction collection lies a dangerous truth.

Performer, Laura Hooper talks to us about this site-specific work with a dark twist.


What attracted you to this material?

Laura: It was organic. Mark O'Neil (the writer) and I coincidentally both relocated to NYC from London in the UK in 2011. We met up and naturally started talking about Crumble's quirky character Sylvie Cranshaw whom we developed in 2005, over a couple of drinks, naturally...! We wondered what New Yorker's would think of this character and our play, would they get it? Would they care? I have specialized in site-specific theatre for some time and thought it would be interesting to put this show in real life kitchens in real life NYC homes to deepen the audiences’ relationship with the Sylvie. It took off from there.

What did you want the audience to come away with after watching Crumble?

Laura: I want the audience to be aware of the magic and power of site-specific theatre and to go away wanting to see more... 
I also want to raise awareness of women's issues. Often after the play, I am left sharing wine with audience members and discussing these issues. I hope that some of them may go away and continue these conversations. There are a lot of problems that need to be addressed in society right now, let's get them out in the open.

What was your favorite part of working on this production?

Laura: Being constantly blown away by the generosity of the hosts who open up their homes and hearts to Crumble. These people are true supporters of the arts and we are honored to have been able to collaborate with them.

What was the biggest challenge of working on this production?

Laura: It is knackering to perform! I start off improvising the first half of the show so I have to be at the top of my game, whilst also hosting the audience and ensuring they are well looked after. I then go on a huge emotional journey and am left a bit of a wreck by the end of the piece. After all that, like all good hosts, I am left to clean up the kitchen!

What is the most unique aspect of Crumble?

Laura: Where to start?! I am going into people's homes all over the world...I have had a host in the Financial District offering to buy slippers for all the audience members because she wanted them to remove their shoes. I have had 20 Irish audience members dancing around their handbags, whilst singing "Private Dancer" at the top of their lungs. I have been upstaged by my own Father at a performance in Far Rockaway by coming up with a better joke than I could. The list goes on...

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