I recently had the opportunity to experience London National Theater’s production, The Kitchen — a believable glimpse into a 1950 London restaurant kitchen that produces over 1,500 covers in 1 lunch seating. A multi European staff of over 30 characters who are intertwined in workplace frolics, drama and intense discussions all the while preparing for the days lunch service.
Superb choreography allows the audience to sense the emotions of the characters as they interact with each other.
Your eyes never question the believability that the characters are baking bread, dredging fish in flour, mixing pastry cream or sautéing non-imaginary imaginary food. Great care was taken by the director to have his company undergo culinary training courses. You will be delighted to see that fish can still burn and soup can still sour even if it’s not real.
The lunch service ends and the second half shifts your attention to an intimate look into a troubled German cook named Peter who lacks in the ability to be understood by others due to fighting his own demons on a constant basis. His playful facade is ripped away and he is left exposed leaving us with many unanswered questions as well as questioning several of his own answers.
Whether you’re a foodie or not, this 1959 reproduction of Arnold Weskar’s play is well worth seeing.