BATS Theatre Instagram, Global

08/04/2020 - 22/04/2020

COVID-19 Lockdown Festival 2020

Production Details

Ania Upstill is back to Clown up your life.

A new weekly show over on BATS Instagram! @bats_theatre

Claude will be cooking up some Kiwi classics to keep you entertained under lockdown!

April 2020

WED  8 16:00 – 16:30

WED 15 16:00 – 16:30

WED 22 16:00 – 16:30

Theatre , Clown ,

30 mins; Wednesdays only

Krazy kitchen lockdown lunacy

Review by Nik Smythe 08th Apr 2020

For the duration of the lockdown (officially four weeks which today we are halfway through), effusive clown chef Claude is presenting a half-hour cooking show each Wednesday at 4.00pm, courtesy of BATS theatre. The episodes are linked in the discussion threads on the Facebook event page, but if you join BATS Instagram you can watch live as it happens and chat in real time.

Allegedly French, Claude is a personable character, welcoming us to participate as he guides us through a simple classic Kiwiana recipe, or Cuisine a la Nouvelle-Zélande as he puts it. Today (show 2, 8th March) we are doing scones, and we begin with a clarification on the correct pronunciation thereof (spoiler alert – doesn’t matter!).

Ostensibly more high-functioning than the standard out-of-control innocence of a traditional European clown one might envision, Claude could almost pass for a normal human were it not for a couple of tells. Firstly, his penchant for personifying his ingredients and utensils, to the degree that he finds it emotionally distressing when it comes time to manhandle his mixture by way of whipping and cutting – not to mention his preferred mixing utensil. 

Secondly, he’s got a big round shiny red honker, that is to say nose (I’m not aware whether it actually honks or not), prominently situated between large round Harold Lloyd-style glasses and a curly Poirot moustache. The facial ensemble resembles a sort of ersatz Groucho Marx, framed with a customary toque blanche, smock and apron. Of course these comparisons amount to mere wordcount building – he’s none of those people; he’s Claude!

Clown must rank up there with standup comedy as a genre that relies critically on audience feedback in the immediate moment (laughter generally ranking as most preferred reaction). To that end it is an admirable challenge for Claude to choose to entertain us in this way, judging his delivery according to his imagined crowd reactions, being as he is cut off from the actual response.

Interactive real-time chat interjections must help but must surely amount to a mere fraction of the energy a live congregation supplies. Nevertheless Claude’s delivery is professional and consistent, leaning into his character quirks and fairly shameless examples of what the French presumably call papa-plaisanterie.

In any case, almost despite himself he ultimately delivers in the brief to provide a functional recipe to be enjoyed by housebound persons everywhere. He’s a bit vague on a number of quantities, but they can be easily looked up online. In fact there are undoubtedly thousands of variations of Claude’s simple fare to be found on the net, but then you wouldn’t be hanging out with Claude and his krazy kitchen lockdown lunacy, would you? So.


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