High Definition Screening of National Theatre's The Kitchen
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The last date listed for National Theatre Live: The Kitchen was Thursday October 27, 2011 / 7:15pm.
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from gjryan5
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This was an over-the-top production of an over-written play--too wordy and self-conscious (at least what I could understand of the multi-ethnic cast speaking British English. I think I caught only one out of every four or five words uttered by the Jamaican (?) kitchen worker at the very beginning of the play. While the staging was phenomenal, lighting effective, and choreography (yes, this play was truly CHOREOGRAPHED) amazing, I never cared about the characters and their angst. The main character, Peter, was not believable as a "bully" or a lover. I never figured out what Max was constantly screaming about. Casting was for the most part unusual. Directorial decisions about taking several minutes to "open the kitchen" in the early morning hours at the start of Act I made the failure to have ANY indication of night-to-morning at the end of Act II inexplicable.
My favorite moment was when the restaurant owner became the conductor of the kitchen workers (cast of 31!) transformed into an "orchestra" and "dance troupe". Strikingly beautiful. Also, the use of freeze-action to highlight certain characters and fantastic pantomime of kitchen behaviors were fabulous techniques. If it weren't for these moments, I would have found the overall experience very disappointing.
So...it was "OK"-- just glad I didn't pay London ticket prices to see it!
Quotes & Highlights
Learn more about National Theatre Live and watch the trailer here.
“Superbly inventive.” —Daily Telegraph (UK)
“With wit and energy it keeps you gasping.” —The Times (UK)
Running Time: 3 hours; one 20 minute intermission
Written by: Arnold Wesker
Directed by: Bijan Sheibani
1950s London. In the kitchen of an enormous West End restaurant, the orders are piling up: a post-war feast of soup, fish, cutlets, omelettes and fruit flans.
Thrown together by their work, chefs, waitresses and porters from across Europe – English, Irish, German, Jewish – argue and flirt as they race to keep up. Peter, a high-spirited young cook, seems to thrive on the pressure. In between preparing dishes, he manages to strike up an affair with married waitress Monique, the whole time dreaming of a better life. But in the all-consuming clamour of the kitchen, nothing is far from the brink of collapse.
Arnold Wesker’s extraordinary play premiered at the Royal Court in 1959 and has since been performed in over 30 countries. The Kitchen puts the workplace centre stage in a blackly funny and furious examination of life lived at breakneck speed, when work threatens to define who we are.
The Kitchen features an ensemble cast of 29 actors.
The National Theatre Live is a successful initiative that broadcasts live performances from the National’s stages to cinemas worldwide. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of _Phédre _starring Helen Mirren, over half a million people have now experienced the National’s acclaimed work on movie screens around the world.