For the Love of Chocolate oozes chocolate from its pores. Amanda Waring and guitar accompanist Andy Robinson return to the Fringe this year to offer the audience a delicious brew of comic absurdity as the lines between woman and chocolate dissolve.
By the time Waring pours molten chocolate over herself before rolling around in the glorious mess, we realise that the show is a celebration of chocolate purely for its own sake.
Just before Waring’s character leaves a cacao plantation in Mexico, she receives a box from her beloved housekeeper Conchita. Many years later, she opens it to discover that it contains chocolate recipes, which lead her to embark on a quest in search of the ingredients. However, her chocolates do not taste like Conchita’s and she eventually finds out why.
This plot seems to exist for no other reason than to provide an excuse for Waring to saturate her show with chocolate. Like love itself, For the Love of Chocolate is sensual, generous with its affections and ever so slightly mad.
Waring has a delightfully absurd sense of humour. She sashays around the stage in a comical and endearing manner while making some ridiculously offhand jokes. “Follow the Tao of the cacao”, we are told. Physical humour also elicits plenty of giggles from the audience, not least when Waring straddles – and struggles with – an inflatable palm tree.
We are encouraged to partake in Waring’s celebration of chocolate. She feeds ‘naughty’ members of the audience pieces of chocolate, invites us to shake wreaths over an aphrodisiac fondant bowl and massages a large shapeless chunk of chocolate with her bare hands before smearing them over Robinson’s white shirt. She favours raw substance – the powerful essence of chocolate itself – over delicate form.
By the time Waring pours molten chocolate over herself before rolling around in the glorious mess, we realise that the show is a celebration of chocolate purely for its own sake. There is something wonderfully delightful about this, even though it might not make much sense.
I would recommend this show to all lovers of chocolate. Those who crave a more intimate relationship with it should make sure they place themselves in a conspicuous position in the front row.