Ladies and gentlemen, Welcome to Claude’s

Performance and circus, mixed in with food… What’s not to like?! And Crashmat Collective definitely did not fail to excite, amaze and entertain as Facade took over the Weston Studio space at the Wales Millennium Centre last night.

Greeted at the door by owner of the restaurant Claude, audience members/restaurant goers are seated by a team of waiters and waitresses who also double up as highly skilled performers. As the piece kicks in, we are soon introduced to each different character and their relationships within the team: and the inner thoughts (hidden behind their customer service is key’ smiles) are relayed via voice overs with sometimes hilarious consequences.

Our three course meal is brought out to us, made of course with TLC (Tender loving cooking!) whilst the performance continues around, above and even on top of the table! The hopes, dreams and emotions of the waiting staff are shown through the intersections of circus and acrobatics. One falls through the air with one leg caught in a rope… And another walks her way around a pole, while the rest of the cast perform a beautifully choreographed selection of movements. The pure skill and strength is incredible and enough to make anyone put down their glass of wine or their dessert spoon for a few minutes!

The frantic switching between reality and the hidden circus skills of the performers is mesmerising to watch although it was sometimes tricky to decide on which character to focus your attention on with so much going on. The electric soundtrack and the clever lighting really pulled the piece together: instantly transporting everyone in the room to the stage.

From the classic romantic movie lift, to a waiter madly in love with another, to the skill used on the ropes and the hoop: Facade is an immersive theatre and dining experience like none other. I would definitely recommend a night at Claude’s, and next time I go out for food, I expect my pudding to be paraded down a catwalk first!

For full tour dates, go to the website or follow them on Twitter @crashmatcollect

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