Jade, Cake

Review in Issue 15-4 | Winter 2003

The kitchen as metaphor for life is a rich source of theatre: the Jade company’s comedy ‘Cake’, set in a smart modern kitchen, cleverly shades meaning and mood and is some times farce, sometimes drama. The central character (played perfectly by Victoria Worsley) is a housewife demonstrating the niceties of preparing a Victoria sponge for her family. Here is cake making as a manifestation of love through oral, sugary gratification. The family is strange: a set of spoons which behave like lively children on whom the woman dotes.

Then a big curly-haired, stifflimbed doll emerges from a cupboard to rupture the cosy atmosphere, striding into the mess already on the cooking counter (no substitutes here - the ingredients and the kitchen equipment are all real, and the actor is an expert at the cake-making). John, the doll, is more difficult to deal with than the spoons, which have the advantage of silence. John has a penchant for awkward questions, like most children, and attempts to distract the mother, demanding attention and affection, impatient with the never-ending promise of the cake. She is conscious of her doll-ness, her limited movements, but she is also very human, wilful and unexpectedly foulmouthed. Increasingly riled, the cake-maker tries to maintain a smiling calm in the middle of the mounting mayhem.

The two puppeteers, the excellent Steve Tiplady and Rebekah Wild, manipulate the spoons delicately and the doll roughly. They are true experts. The dynamics are not right yet, as the piece did not seem to go anywhere, but it was never less than entertaining, original and intriguing.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-4
p. 25