A COOKIE IN THE KITCHEN
DIRECTOR: Vivian Moodley
CAST: Sivani Chinappan
VENUE: The Catalina Theatre
UNTIL: 31 March
VIVIAN Moodley’s A Cookie in the Kitchen opened in Durban this week, tackling the hard issue of women abuse.
The writer/director’s cleverly worded script – which is laced with loads of light moments – makes a harsh topic easier to digest, without detracting from the seriousness of the matter.
In the piece Cookie, a mother and wife, shares with the audience her life story. She was raised to be girl-child who knows “her place”, courtesy of her father; who married her off to a husband who would ensure that she would be a woman who knows her place.
As she recounts memories of her past and let’s us in on some of the present issues, and as we witness her tend to her home, husband and children, we realise that Cookie’s is one story that rings true for so many women of the past, the present and – if we continue in this cycle of abuse – it will likely resonate with women in the future.
From being brought up in a home where keeping house are only female duties, to young girls who’re manipulate into relationships and rejected by their partners when they fall pregnant, to domestic abuse in the home and its effect not only on the victim, but the children too – the list of issues tackled goes on.
Moodley made an excellent choice in casting the young Sivani Chinappan as Cookie. The South Indian classical dancer and choreographer, certainly proves her worth as an actress in this, her debut solo on stage.
Chinappan – as one member of the audience aptly put it during a Q&A and comment segment after the opening night performance this week – possess a wonderful connect with the audience.
You’d never say this was her debut. She hooks you with her character’s tales which will have you laughing in some moments - especially as she acts out male characters - and on the verge of tears in others, like when she tries to protect her children from her husbands rage.
A Cookie in the Kitchen provokes thought on the issue of abuse on so many levels. The Q&A session that follows after the play takes this further with the audience drawn into the dialogue on abuse.