I saw The Kitchen when it was being filmed for its NT Live last Thursday and I saw it again on Saturday.
I did not like the play at all. If any other theatre company puts on a production of The Kitchen I will not be going to see it! But I loved what the National had done with pretty poor material. The staging was AMAZING. I loved the set. I loved the freeze frame sequences, when all the actors stop/pause and then come to life one by one, or when the whole ensemble cast stops/pauses and we just concentrate on one actor or a pair of actors. I loved the choreography and the choreographed sequences. I loved the way they recreated the Kitchen on stage, and the way they did the cooking on stage (with no food or raw material but all mimed). I loved the way the orders appeared projected onto the backdrop. The chaos and the frenetic nature of working in a Kitchen was fully conveyed. And, as this was the National Theatre, the whole of the ensemble cast were excellent.
That said, I wanted to give a special shout out to Tom Brooke who is definitely one to watch. When I watched this for the second time round, my attention was constantly drawn towards Tom Brooke. He has such an expressive face and body and I could not take my eyes off him. I definitely want to see more of him!