A girl wakes up on her kitchen counter and brings her kitchen to life as she bakes. Jori Snell’s Kitchen Fables in a Cookie Jar is a surreal piece designed to captivate the imagination of children through dance, physical theatre and the creative use of sounds, lights and scents.
As the girl brings the baking process to life with strange and inventive use of utensils and ingredients, a lemon transforms from a mere component in a recipe into child’s plaything and finally into a companion who dances nimbly across the countertop which itself has been transformed into a weird imaginary landscape thanks to some beautifully executed lighting. Later, lighting also allows the girl to dance and float through the kitchen in a magically graceful dream sequence.
Snell is renowned for her physical performing arts, and moves with acrobatic agility as the girl swings and rolls over the counter in the many otherworldly sequences of the production – much to the delight of the younger members of the audience. Slapstick gags such as a face dunked in a bowl of flour will also appeal to younger children present.
Sequences such as shadow puppets add to the strange atmosphere of the piece, in which Snell’s quirky use of unusual voices and theatrical body language enhance the sense of the bizarre while remaining a wonderfully entertaining introduction to theatre.
The delicious smell of baking biscuits ends the kitchen adventure in the fantastic world of everyday-objects-made-strange, bringing the audience gently back to reality, not unlike Alice’s return from Wonderland.
Baba Yaga’s Kitchen Fables in a Cookie Jar runs at Kalk Bay theatre from 14 December 2012 to 6 January 2013.
by Brynde Fisher-Jeffes