FRINGE REVIEW – Chef! (Assembly George Street)

*****

7 – 30 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), 1600 (1700) @ Assembly George Street

Chef!

Chef!

Chef! makes one of Korea’s traditional dishes, the Bibimbap, into a national treasure: exciting, adventurous and everyone wants to get their hands on it. Yes – get your tickets now!

This production is an absolute joy that has the audience of all ages cheering, clapping, gasping, laughing and generally experiencing a wonderful hour packed with brilliant comedy, acrobatics, breakdance, beatbox, a capella, martial arts, mixed media and cooking. There are actually a fair few panto elements – a comedy villainous duo, a highly creative dark scene which allows a filmic change of viewing perspective, and an ‘in front of the curtains’ section, along with audience participation made fresh. Even multi-media contributes intriguing action that is seamlessly part of the staging and story.

This story is pretty basic – an ancient master of Bibimbap flees pursuers intent on gaining the recipe and finds assistance in a modern kitchen – but it is handled with great panache and full of absolutely delicious ingredients, mixed magnificently and served with the greatest energy and enthusiasm possible. The skills of the performers are multiple and awesome (just a couple of examples: beatboxing with their own pulses and spinning ‘forever’ upside down in a dish) and even with the occasional rough edge, this is firmly a five-star show.

The audience members’ reactions say it best: “Fantastic!”; “Don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted”; “Now THAT’s what I call a SHOW!”

Ticket information is available on the Assembly website.

Review by Danielle Farrow

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