Blood + Chocolate (2013)

A Co-production with Pilot Theatre, York Theatre Royal & Slung Low

During the Christmas of 1914 the Lord Mayor of York sent out a chocolate tin, designed and made at the Rowntree’s factory, to every soldier from York who fought at the front.

As news came of the young men who would never return home the women of the city stepped into the jobs at the factories and the landscape of the city changed forever as its people struggled to reconcile beliefs of conscientious objection against family loyalties.

Pilot Theatre, Slung Low and York Theatre Royal collaborated for the first time to bring the modern city of York to life with the stories of the workers and owners of the chocolate factories alongside those young men who gave their lives to defend the homeland.

Audiences were given a unique experience as they followed the story through the streets of York, watching the events unfold in and around some of York’s landmark buildings whilst listening in to the characters’ conversations via headphones in a surprisingly intimate way. Theatre as you have never seen, or heard it before.

With a cast of over 200, this production offered audiences theatre on an epic, cinematic scale. It will transport you to new places and showed you the city of York in a new light. The ghosts of the past walked amongst you.

This was an opportunity for the city to build upon the success of The York Mystery Plays 2012 project by offering another large scale production by the people of York.

Supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and York College.


The Independent *****

The Telegraph *****

Arts Desk *****

WhatsonStage *****

Public Reviews *****

Backstage Pass ****

The Guardian ****

Education Resources

The production was accompanied by an educational resource for teachers and students.

Blood + Chocolate Education Resource PDF

Theatre Styles Blood + Chocolate Resource Pack PDF

Written by Mike Kenny

Directed by Alan Lane

Designed by Anna Gooch



York Cocoa House

York Walk

Joseph Rowntree Theatre

University of York

Bootham School

York Mansion House

The Rowntree Society

York Food & Drink Festival