On Saturday 21st July I went along with the team to watch Too Many Cooks in action at Wollaton Park’s Splendour Festival. It was my first ever time seeing the show and it was a delight. We had a great spot in the children’s section very close by to the main stage. With three performances throughout the afternoon, it was a busy and very enjoyable day.
With the trusty HandMade van functioning as our set for the show, we were in the company of Park Lives playing tennis, crafts such as clay creations and boat making, and Beat Feet drumming. We were also within earshot of the musicians gracing the main stage, including local performer Ady Suleiman, ABBA tribute act Bjorn Again and rock band The Dandylions.
Then it was time for the first show of the day. What first struck me about Too Many Cooks is the physicality of it; with lots of movement and audience interaction, Suzy, Tom and Lil did a brilliant job of keeping the energy and engagement levels high.
As well as this, the team pulled off quick costume changes and switches to different characters, using various accents and mannerisms to differentiate between characters. They managed to create lively and lovable characters in just half an hour.
Too Many Cooks is perfect for the whole family, entertaining particularly for children, but also fun for adults and parents to get involved with. Despite the noise from the main stage and the tennis balls flying everywhere, the team managed to keep the audience immersed in the performance, using a mixture of musical elements as well as theatre. The songs were very catchy indeed, using a range of instruments and props to keep the audience tapping their toes and nodding their heads.
There was a lovely atmosphere at the festival, with the children eager to join in with dancing, singing and answering the questions of the performers, which all added to the overall enjoyment. The comedic side of the performance really shone through. With puns galore, Betty Botter the Baker’s rapping, and spraying the audience with water to ‘wash their hands’, it was hard not to laugh. Despite the comedy, the children watching had the opportunity to learn about food health and safety, whilst being reminded about the importance of teamwork too.
It was a pleasure seeing the team doing what they do best, and a fantastic way to round off my internship with HandMade Theatre, giving me an insight into the world of touring and summer festivals. I loved being part of this local festival, with Splendour being Nottingham’s biggest festival and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The ideal summer celebration with music, poetry, comedy, theatre and crafts, spending time at Splendour and watching Too Many Cooks is a day out I’ll certainly remember.