How many acrobats does it take to bake a cake? It’s a question most of us have never asked. Yet Québécois circus troupe Les 7 doigts de la main makes us eager to find out in Cuisine et Confessions, a show that invites us into the kitchen for an evening of cooking, storytelling and breathtaking acrobatics.
Lazy breakfasts, family dinners, decadent desserts or late-night snacks with a friend: the idea of the meal as a ritual that underpins human relationships is at the heart of Cuisines et Confessions. In a nod to Proust, the show eloquently makes a case for the strong association between dishes and memories. The troupe features everything from a trapeze artist to a Chinese pole acrobat, a juggler and gymnasts rollicking around in flour. Yet for all this impressive diversity, the nine performers have a fantastic group dynamic, moving around the stage like a single organ (sometimes with the participation of audience members). The cosy kitchen set gives a sense of intimacy to their graceful performance.
You may not understand all that’s said throughout the performance, but then again hardly anyone will. Emphasising the universality of the meal as ritual, the performance unfolds not only in French and English but also Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese and Polish. No matter what your native tongue, you’ll take much more away from Cuisine et Confessions than just the recipe for a perfect omelette. This sensitive and humorous performance boldly moulds the tropes of the circus to its own delicious devices. So sit back and feed your eyes and mouth – and make sure you don’t try any of this at home.