Scenes for Survival | A Soup Song


29 Jul 2020

News Story

When times are tough and you’re needing cheering up, there’s no beating a big bowl of warm, lentil soup. It’s a wee taste of home that’ll see ye through yer grief, even if ye cannae quite get the recipe right, the same as the way they used to make it… Annie Louise Ross features in this heart-warming short from writer Stewart Ennis, directed by Nic Green & Peter McMaster.

Produced by National Theatre of Scotland, in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and The Gaiety with support from Hopscotch Films.

"To begin with I was thinking, maybe I should I try to write something that directly addresses these strange unsettling days; something that folk might find useful or helpful, or even a call to arms or something. But I soon realised that, one way or another, whatever I wrote was going to be informed by what’s going on anyway, that it was going to reflect how I feel about it, about being in it, and that maybe the best thing to do was just tell a story, a good, simple story. Maybe it would turn out to be something humane, and hopeful.

‘It’s a big day today. The last day of The Big Book of Getting By. It’s lentil soup day and she needs to get it just right. It needs to be just how it used to be. It needs to be just like the lentil soup of yore.’ What inspired me to write it? Lots of things I suppose. I was thinking, what do I miss most? Well, meals with family & friends for one; the laughter and the couthiness; the rituals that draw folk together and nourish them, body and soul. Then I remembered the pot of lentil soup a childhood friend’s mum used to make at Hogmanay to share with anyone who happened to drop by, and then that put me in mind of the funeral of poet Tom Leonard, and the recipe for his famous lentil soup that was printed on the back of the order of service. Oh maybe I’ll make a pot of Tom Leonard's soup, I thought, but decided not to as I’m on my own right now so what would be the point. ... All of that led to this."

Stewart Ennis, Writer