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David Porter » Reviews » La Cuchina dell’Arte

La Cuchina dell’Arte

Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 4 May 2006

La Cuchina dell’Arte

If you love circus in all its forms, ancient and modern, this one is for your collection.

It’s unique. Comedy without a safety net. The food-service industry without the hygiene.

Set in a kitchen-cum-restaurant, a straight-man chef and his hapless sidekick in big shoes invite two members of the audience on stage and make them pizza. Inevitably it turns out to be a burnt offering.

Directly inspired by vaudeville coming out of commedia dell’Arte, film makers and mimers, they cavort in magical physical nonsense. It takes real skill to clown, drop plates and spin plates while taking audience orders and spin dough till it flies through the air. But it takes a special skill to make it look easy.

From the opening in the dark trying to light candles and a chandelier, to endless audience interaction, it’s a non-stop caravan of versatility.

Comedy for adults, speaking gibberish and rapid Italian, stumbling over a stage littered with flour and broken crockery, there is something for everyone.

The whole thing is staged in a real small Big Top complete with tent flaps like a Tardis. Roll up, roll up for total enjoyment.

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