Food has always been essential to the theatre and the cinema. A catalyst which brings people together it can be used for dramatic confrontation, as a comic device or even a metaphor for the meaning of life. Preparing, presenting and consuming food can evoke a mood that is sumptuous, homely, seductive, disgusting or just plain funny. Eloquent in conveying complex messages, food is a perfect vehicle for expressing the subtext in drama and comedy and for revealing intricate aspects about class, emotional states or gender. Sometime, as in the movies Babette's Feast and Tampopo, it is the real star. In this original study of the social and symbolic meaning of food, Gaye Poole unravels all these possibilities. The book begins with a fascinating overview demonstrating how food has been used in plays through the ages and how quickly early film makers learnt to exploit its potential; it then goes on to explore contemporary works in a way which will make you see your favourite play or film in an entirely different light.