I went solo to the opening of The Cooksisters at The Intimate Theatre tonight. Big friendly was cold and tired and not up for it. I was quite excited and very open to enjoying it. And I did.
The Cooksisters is written by Kate Liquorish and performed by her and Deborah Vieyra. They are two talented young actresses and there is much about their "televised cooking show" that takes place in front of a "live studio audience" that is absolutely delightful. The Nigelaesque, perfect housewife cooking show host Marge (played by Kate) suffers a series of setbacks and interruptions to her live show by her late assistant, her maid and two unlikely guests who have won a cooking competition to appear on the show. That’s the story and it holds together well, although the ‘twists’ are a little predictable.
Both actresses and the characters they play are filled with energy and flair. Marge (Kate) is delightful and out there in her conservative approach, her assistant Sherry (Deborah) is appropriately subservient and full of attitude. Susan (Deborah) from Orania is delightful, Ayisha (I know that wasn’t her name but I’m close) played by Kate is typical but borderline irritating and Mavis (Deborah) is the least successful and satisfying of the characters.
The show is a great idea (although not truly original, bringing to mind Play With Your Food by Peter Hayes) but there is tons of material and fun to be had from the cooking show theme. I liked the black and white spotty set and cozzies and the lights were effective. It is a short, enjoyable way to spend time in a small dark room. I was entertained and I laughed.
Here is my problem; no director! The director in me itched with frustration more than a few times during the show. I am entirely convinced that a director would have brought subtle detail to the characters and performances, would have shifted pace and rhythm, and would have brought a third eye to interpret some of the really cheeky funniness that is already there in the text but not present in the performance. I believe in getting a director, especially if you have written the show and are performing in it. Maybe it is about growing up a bit. Maybe it is about confidence. maybe it is believing that someone else can ‘see what you mean!’ I think that people will enjoy this show. It is funky, topical, accessible, funny and entertaining. But it’s not as good as it could be. Go on sisters. Get a director. Then you’ll cook with gas!