Pros: An abundance of clowning, slapstick and well-timed jokes kept the young audience giggling.
Cons: There didn’t seem to be much of a story and many of the jokes got a little tiresome.
Signor Baffo (Oliver Harrison) enters the audience on his bike, weaving his way through the rows and dinging his bell. He introduces himself onstage as the “head of washing up”. However, on this particular day, Signor Figaro (the head chef) is unwell and unable to come in – so Baffo decides to try his hand at cooking and inevitably creates chaos in the kitchen.
This is an exciting premise for a children’s show, but in this case, it is one that seems to sadly fall flat pretty quickly. Baffo starts to make the food on the menu but there is no clear aim, such as preparing to feed a restaurant of guests or hoping to outshine the existing chef. As such, the whole thing feels as though the show is simply a platform for his clowning and destruction, rather than having a clear and engaging storyline.
Harrison gives a consistent performance at Baffo and the audience connect well with him. However, at times he seems a little less comfortable in the role and lets his character slip.
The show is full of individually hilarious moments, such as when Signor Baffo encourages his young assistants to try and lay an egg; but unfortunately these are sandwiched between some rather cheap and predictable jokes. Whilst these do elicit laughter from the audience, the show lacked the sensitivity and intelligence present in most of the other children’s theatre I’ve seen this year and as such, this show was a bit of a disappointment for my young companion and me.
However, this isn’t to say the show isn’t worth a watch. If silly fun is what you’re after then you’ll have a ball. But if you’re looking for something with a little more nuance and thought, perhaps this isn’t the show you re looking for.
Director: Emma Edwards & Abigail Dooley
Produced by: Sam Worboys
Set by: Paul Harrison
Booking Until: This show has now completed its run.