Circus Ronaldo, La Cucina dell’Arte

Review in Issue 16-3/4 | Autumn 2004

Is there anyone better at giving an audience a night of pure entertainment than Circus Ronaldo? After the delightful Fili they return with a smaller show (just brothers David and Danny Ronaldo), for a smaller audience, in a smaller tent. But a drop in scale doesn't mean a drop-off in humour and invention. The stage is set out with three tables and chairs; behind this is an old-fashioned pipe organ on wheels which supplies the music for the show.

David is the officious Maître D / head chef while Danny is his eager and stupid assistant – a classic clown relationship. They select two members of the public, a man and a woman, to be the customers. Even this goes wrong with two women being chosen at the same time by mistake. This confusion and how it's resolved (i.e. whatever David says goes) adds an edge to the proceedings, played for all its worth throughout the show. Pizza-making is then demonstrated, involving some stunning dough juggling and spinning. The behind the scenes hysteria and tension in a kitchen is vividly and palpably evoked as they take orders from the crowd whilst keeping ten plates spinning in the air – you could cut the atmosphere of panic with a knife.

Eventually the two customers get their pizzas but only after phoning out for a takeaway. The set-up is incredibly simple but the intimacy of the relationship between the performers and audience, the piling on of comic detail and the ability to weave superb circus skills into a story raise it a cut above almost everyone else.

Presenting Artists
Date Seen
  1. Jul 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-3/4
p. 30