THEATRE REVIEW: Caroline's Kitchen ★★

Caroline’s Kitchen
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Tuesday 26th February - Saturday 2nd February 2019

As a well-known middle class TV cook, Caroline Mortimer (Caroline Langrishe) is a modern, fun-loving cook with enthusiam and a passion for food, but behind the camera’s her life is spiralling downhill as with the return of her son Leo (Tom England) comes the chaos of betrayal in the form of a closeted affair against her husband Mike (Aden Gillett) with their handy-man Graeme (James Sutton).

Though the set is beautifully designed by James Perkins, personally I felt the same could not be said for the obnoxious and moral values that were held within the characters, which though enjoyed by the much older generation in the audience, I found highly offensive with a play which though looking very modern is still very much stuck in the way of the expansion of sexuality and health related issues.

As this production was in the style of a farce, you could forgive the performance for generating a slow start, but with plot points that gained little relevance to the overall storyline and would come across offensive to a sensitive audience, I found myself slowly becoming less interested in the characters and slightly disgusted to be watching a production which was gaining so much positive reactions from a homophobic father not accepting his son’s revelation, especially in a time where this production could hinder a audience’s perception of this depicting a real-life situation, where we have now moved more positively with the times.  

The major downfall I had with the show, and which suddenly become quite bittersweet in the former half of the second act, was how much I felt the attention to character detail lacking quite rapidly, with sloppy dialogue and direction resulting in a sudden change of likeness to the characters, and a finale which crashed down such as a disaster on stage as the production was at the time time spiralling down in my own mind.

Overall, Caroline’s Kitchen is an ill-fainted farce which starts off promising but due to dated morals from some characters, loses the momentum and leaves a bittersweet taste taste in the mouth!


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