Food and Drink on Stage

Under Construction – please send additions to jon@theatrecrafts.com

Food

Using any foodstuff on stage can be hazardous in ways which are not immediately obvious. The mess created by food is one problem. A wipeable stage surface should be used – old dance floor is ideal, with the seams firmly taped. Using food on a wooden stage can cause problems of staining or food particles getting stuck in wooden boards. 
Some organic foodstuffs must never be used on stage. This includes flour, cornstarch, custard powder and sugar, which are all highly flammable when in dust/cloud form. Throwing flour around on stage, near hot light fittings, could lead to a disaster. 

Fullers Earth (a clay-based absorbent natural product) is a safer alternative for any dust effects. 

 

Drink

Link to ‘Making Fake Drinks’ on Eric Hart’s excellent prop-making blog

How to mix realistic looking alcohol substitutes

To begin with, some photos of the real thing, for those of you who don’t drink 🙂

Lono.co.uk offer a wide range of alcohol-free canned and bottled drinks

Red Wine

  • Ribena plus a dash of blue food colouring
  • Red Grape Juice*
  • Non-Alcoholic Red Wine
  • Water with red food colouring and a drop of caramel food colouring or burnt sugar

White Wine

  • Non-Alcoholic White Wine
  • Diluted apple juice*

*Important: If you’re making fake white wine for stage use, don’t use grape juice if the ‘wine’ is sitting in a bottle undrunk for a few days. The juice will start to ferment and the bottles may explode! For ‘wine’ that actors don’t have to drink, use a squash / cordial. 
Always make juice dilutions fresh each day. 

Dark Drinks

  • Water with gravy browning (a great substitute for burnt sugar, but may not be suitable for vegetarians) 
  • Diluted tea
  • Water with Cola Sodastream concentrate (suitable for vegetarians)

Pimms

  • A splash of balsamic vinegar and lemonade

Lager

  • Ginger Ale (slightly flattened)

Port

  • Pomegranate Juice

Champagne (by Thomas Monument, via The Blue Room)

  • Existing champagne bottle (cleaned)
  • Cidre cork from French cider (can be pushed in by hand)
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Cream soda
  • Sugar-lumps
  1. A few drops of food colouring should be mixed into a glass of sparkling water to make the colouring solution.
  2. Pour cream soda into the champagne bottle carefully
  3. Add two teaspoons of the colouring solution
  4. Put three sugar-cubes into the bottle, and push the cork in as fast as possible.
  5. Reapply the wire and foil from the original champagne bottle (or use aluminium foil that’s been spray painted gold).
  6. Shake just before use!

Glass Replacements

Canned Drinks

  • A non-alcoholic canned drink can be wrapped with a printed label of an alcoholic brand (or even one you’ve designed yourself to avoid product placement).
  • Lono.co.uk offer a wide range of alcohol-free canned and bottled drinks