A children’s show is always a different beast; children’s audiences are noisy and difficult to entertain. Yet Súper Chefs makes this look like an easy task. The audience is involved in the story from the moment they walk through the door; each child is handed an apron, which gives them a sense of personal involvement and a stake in the story that they are about to see. This continues as they wash their hands with our actor-chefs, sing and dance their way through recipes, and eat the food when the show is finished. And they respond to this! Children are not polite, and kids’ shows always run the risk of over-patronising – and no one will reject you as quickly as a child that feels patronised. But certainly the audience at yesterday’s show was invested and responsive, dancing and in some cases even calling out to warn the characters.

The show is a tale of a Colombian family cooking as a way of bonding; its messages are good but never laboured over fun. It was a pleasant surprise to see the grandmother’s outdated claims about gender roles be given the thumbs down by the kids in the audience in favour of the mother’s claim that all children can cook and help out around the house. The moral that you should always ask for help is a good one, though the show struggled a bit with the help coming from an imaginary superhero; asking for help from your family afterwards feels a little like a cop-out. 

The cast is strong; the show is cartoonishly performed, but it sits within the style of it. Particular plaudits should go to Maria Léon, playing both Valéria and superhero Mighty Mujer, whose vocals are just fantastic, and who does a fantastic job of holding court onstage whilst audience participation hand sanitising or rolling dough could become chaotic. The integration of Spanish throughout by the whole cast is impressive; it never turns into a lesson, but feels reasonably authentic as a way of speaking, and the audience can understand throughout without feeling lectured. As for the song and dance, they are catchy and memorable. I certainly won’t forget how to make guacamole any time soon.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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