The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming

Director: Olivia Jacobs

Writer: Lemony Snicket (adapted by the cast)

Producer: Josephine Burton (Yad Arts)

Theatre: Roundhouse

Year: 2012


  • Yaniv Fridel (production/mix)
  • Stuart Barter (banjo/guitar)

Daniel Handler - aka Lemony Snicket - is one of those children’s writers you wish you were. I mean, really. His stories are dark, impishly funny and always done with style.

And so I was delighted to be asked to collaborate with the wonderful Tall Stories theatre company to make a devised theatre piece by producer Josephine at Yad Arts. I was part of a composition duo at the time with Yaniv Fridel, and we took on our usual division of duties: he took care of instrumental music and sound design while I worked on the songs.


The story begins in a tiny snowy village, where a Hanukkah Latke, a fried potato pancake, is born screaming (as anyone would if they were thrown into a pan of boiling oil). The Latke leaps from the boiling pan and races through the wintery village, encountering several different kinds of Christmas decorations, deep in the throes of festive preparations… It’s a story about “Being yourself and appreciating others”.

Tall Stories, who with YaD Arts is presenting this production (commissioned by the Roundhouse and the Jewish Community Centre for London), is the hugely successful Theatre Company specialising in productions for family audiences founded by Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell, whose unique physical and musical style have brought Julia Donaldson’s beloved Gruffalo and many other much loved stories to the stage.


A superb ensemble cast storms through this tale of loneliness and the search for belonging with much humour and pizazz… this is a wonderfully inventive take on the usual seasonal fare

Time Out, ****

A fun, energetic production with plenty of visual gags and songs that had the children dancing in their seats.


This adaptation is deliciously directed by Olivia Jacobs and Tim Hibberd. The moral of this tale is very sweetly delivered by the fabulous five-strong cast. ….they create an air of adorable silliness, a good-natured knowingness that tips delicately into pastiche.

Telegraph, ****

One of the season’s most imaginative (and daft) productions



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