Review: Cooking Ghosts

Written for The Stage

Devised shows based around family memories sometimes fall into the trap of being manipulative, but not Cooking Ghosts. Beady Eye has once again created an emotionally acute piece of performance that is moving but not sentimental. But then artistic director Kristin Fredricksson knows a thing or two about autobiographical work.

After focusing on her father in her critically acclaimed 2009 show Everything Must Go, Cooking Ghosts sees Fredricksson explore even more personal territory. Inspired by footage of herself and her sisters, Fredricksson, Georgina Roberts, Seiriol Davies and Helen Mugridge try to take us back to these tumbling toddlers and through them to their suicidal mother.

Puppetry, film and dance make up a delicate patchwork of visual storytelling that is at times breathtaking. Mythology mixes with memory as Cleopatra and a female Minotaur are evoked in an attempt to understand this matriarch.

It feels like a quest, full of abstract imagery that is more psychologically led than narratively. At points it’s confusing – such as when Fredricksson enacts her Grandmother’s thoughts – and we feel lost. But it is often the strangeness of these connections that means this journey feels genuine and we trust these performers to lead us through this strange landscape.

Running till tomorrow – more information here.

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