Shifting their collaboration into a real kitchen, Samuel Dariol and Anna Cerreto have brought the show, The Little Bits We Love from the gallery to the scullery? From the concert hall to the cook house? From stage to… sage?
Covid-19 may have most of the populace hunkering down for the foreseeable, but that hasn’t dampened the spirits of these two Nonnas. Over a near hour, Samuel and Anna play two Italian Grandmothers attempting to guide their viewers through the making of an authentic Italian meal.
Many traditional cabaret elements from their show at last year’s Fringe, La Nonna, are unavailable here. However, good cooking is a lot like alchemy and great chefs have no fear in replacing missing ingredients and that’s what we have here.
Among the culinary lessons and not-quite-whispered conversations with family behind the camera are other elements such as stylised flashbacks to their younger years, a sparkly astronautical dance number, and one of the sweetest codas to a show you’re likely to see that will warm your heart more than any shot of grappa.
Despite the Nonna’s passion, bringing their performances inside away from a live audience does admittedly dampen some of the energy and pace in places. The lighting is also haphazard in quality, but this is forgivable if viewed as a result of a family doing their best to Zoom in unfortunate circumstances instead of a show compensating for filming during the day and night.
Otherwise this was a lovely enough show that wasn’t afraid of a little risk and randomness in its creative choices (such as Anna paying homage to – of all things – the introduction of Jared Leto’s Joker from Suicide Squad by writhing on the floor surrounded by spoons).
The Little Bits We Love was an entertaining and welcomed reminder in these darker times of the power of food and family. Saluti.
La Nonna’s The Little Bits We Love was presented online as part of Melbourne Fringe’s VCR Fest on Sunday 2 August 2020. For more information, visit: www.melbournefringe.com.au or www.lanonna.com.au for details.
Image: La Nonna – photo by James Etheridge
Review: David Collins