Circus Ronaldo, La Cucina Dell’Arte

Review in Issue 18-2 | Summer 2006

There is something about the expectation of a circus show – especially one that revolves around clowning – that makes people laugh before anything has actually happened. This could be plain irritating were it not for the fact that La Cucina dell'Arte goes on to earn this laughter through such human insight, warmth, skill and sheer entertainment value that it becomes impossible not to laugh. Or, indeed, ever stop laughing.

One Ronaldo Brother is a waiter, the other is a head chef. It is this classically comic relationship, and the power struggles within it, that gives the meat to this feast of a performance. The waiter makes mistakes, the chef chides him. He is made acutely aware of his lowliness and in one attempt to raise his status hands a broom to a child in the audience to sweep up the pieces of a plate he has accidentally smashed. He gets away with it until the chef spots him. Yes, he is indeed the lowest of the low.

Naturally we cannot help but side with the underdog, and the connection between the audience and the waiter is incredibly warm. Not least because the situation established is resolutely one of a restaurant and not a theatre: there is no form of barrier between the audience and the action. As if to reaffirm this, two audience members are taken from their seats and cajoled into sitting down at one of the restaurant's tables. The actors want the audience to be there: this is definitely felt.

La Cucina dell'Arte is a totally human, gleeful and uplifting performance that through the outstanding circus skills of the Ronaldo Brothers, revels in revealing the folly of power struggles and in celebrating the blips and blunders which make us human.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-2
p. 27