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Theatre Aurora's The Kitchen Witches: A Review




By Scott Johnston

After being darkened for 19 pandemic-filled months, the stage is once again lit at Theatre Aurora.

Fortunately, as we all really could use a laugh these days, their first show of the 2021-22 season is a comedy, “The Kitchen Witches”.

Written by Canadian playwright Caroline Smith, this tells the story of two feuding cooking show hostesses. 

Isobel and Dolly have known and hated each other for personal reasons for many years. When they are thrown together on a TV cooking show, their already boiling antagonism bubbles over, and before long, the ingredients and insults are flying. Will their new-found popularity bring them closer together, or will they kill each other first?

Director Kay Valentine has a small, but strong cast to work with.

As the two feuding cooks, Brenda Scott (Isobel) and Denise Kennedy (Dolly) are wonderfully balanced as they trade insults and innuendos. Whether alone or together, both actresses command the stage, while giving their characters some emotional depth as the story progresses.

Tristan Stansfield plays Stephen, Dolly's long-suffering son, and the cooking show's producer. His character's ever-present stress ball gets a complete workout as he deals with his domineering mother, the demands of Isobel, and a few other surprises, all while trying to kick his smoking habit.

Mr. Stanfield is wonderfully comedic in his role, but it would have been nice if the script had given him more of an opportunity through the play to portray a wider range of emotions than those that are more anxiety-related.

The final character is “Rob the camera Guy”. Despite his character having a non-speaking part, Nicolas Cramarossa is fun to watch, with his deft use of subtle physical comedy and reactions.

As can be expected, well-written script is filled with lots of verbal jousting and barbs. Despite their quirks and antagonism, all four characters evolve nicely as the play goes on.

All in all, this show at Theatre Aurora gives us a well acted, sharply written, and humour-filled return to our local theatre.  It's good to be back.

Note that COVID protocols are in place at the theatre, which includes the requirement for patrons to wear masks at all times while within the building.

Evening performances of “The Kitchen Witches” continue at Theatre Aurora, 150 Henderson Drive, October 28, 29 and 30, and November 4, 5 and 6, with a matinee on October 31.  Tickets are available through the box office at 905-727-3669.

Post date: 2021-10-28 17:17:23
Post date GMT: 2021-10-28 21:17:23
Post modified date: 2021-10-28 17:28:09
Post modified date GMT: 2021-10-28 21:28:09
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