Brighton Fringe 2015
"There’s chaos in the kitchen when Signor Baffo is left in charge. Expect plates full of fun, with generous helpings of silliness, mischief and adventure. An interactive children’s show, Signor Baffo welcomes children aged 5+. What’s the best way to mix meatballs with spaghetti and how do you make a chicken lay an egg? All is revealed in the charming culinary chaos of Signor Baffo’s kitchen."
Signor Baffo wants to be the top chef, like Figaro. He washes up and the restaurant is closed for the chef is ill. But will that stop him stepping up to the plate and making spaghetti and meatballs? Not Signor Baffo, a companionable, madcap would-be chef.
This all becomes the opportunity for plenty of clowning, knockabout culinary comedy, clever fun with props and dollops of audience interaction. The performer commands the stage throughout and raises plenty of laughs, from children and adults alike. Hands shoot up all over the place when he asks for help and his improvisational skills that are clearly needed when you get kids involved were excellent. Yet the banter is never harsh – there’s a warmth to Signor Baffo that gives the show its accessible charm.
Things descend quickly into chaos, yet there’s no doubt that this production is well on top of its material; the design is simple and the set pieces, engaging scenarios and props, keep the kids entertained throughout. This is a show set in a kitchen and there is plenty of opportunity for some great physical clowning, and fall-down fun.
This was a tough venue to play, Childen towards the back rows couldn’t see that well and didn’t feel as involved in the action. All credit to great chef/washer-upper Signore Baffo who belted out his routines and didn’t just pick out children in the front rows. But the show would have worked in a quieter space and one that didn’t stretch back so far. As things went, I’d say the back ten rows had a far less enjoyable experience and many children began to zone out and fidget.
By the end, Signor Baffo had won back the attention of just about everyone; the comedy is very visual, his voice charismatic and loud. The fourth wall is never up and this creates an invitation for us all to get involved, even in a difficult performance space. He got a well deserced cheer and plenty of appreciative applause.