Covered in chocolate for her art

Amanda Waring is celebrating the new Festival of Chichester by boldly covering herself in molten chocolate.

The gooey feat will be the climax of her acclaimed one-woman show, For The Love of Chocolate which she is delighted to revive for the new festival.

It was a show born of total panic and absolute necessity, recalls Amanda who lives at Fittleworth. It goes back to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2003 – though it was certainly not the show she’d intended for the slot.

“Originally I was given the rights to do Chocolat (the Joanne Harris book) as a one-woman show. I had adapted it, but Disney had bought the complete theatrical rights and they told me that I couldn’t do the show.”

Amanda didn’t fancy taking on the Disney lawyers – which gave her three weeks to come up with an alternative show: “And really I came up with this show out of adversity.”

With limited time for writing and line-learning, she came up with a physical show – not the least physical aspect of which is covering herself completely in chocolate.

But as she had already done the promotional pictures for her Chocolat show, in a sense the subject was already dictated to her.

At the heart of it, there is the story of a young woman’s quest to find what Amanda calls the tao of chocolate and the extraordinary journey she consequently goes on.

Let Conchita, the passionate Mexican housewife, read your chocolate fortune, indulge you with free aphrodisiac chocolates, entice and delight you, to the accompaniment of guitarist Andy Robinson – all part of the great chocolate appeal.

The show certainly celebrates the great sensuality which surrounds chocolate: “It was seen as the food of the gods in olden times. It had mystical qualities. The sugar they put in it now takes away from that, but chocolate is a natural mood enhancer. There is a sense of chocolate melting in the mouth that is extremely pleasurable.

“During these difficult times that we live in, we need to have outlets for pleasure and celebration and remembering how to love life and how to celebrate and for remembering passion. It has got some great aphrodisiac qualities! Chocolate is about finding your pleasure points and not denying them to yourself, in a way that doesn’t hurt other people!

“And when I get covered in melted chocolate, that moment is sheer chocolate bliss!

“The show is deliciously saucy to a degree, but it is unintentional. It’s not a rude show. She just does not realise that someone else can misinterpret the things she is saying. So yes, it is a saucy show to an extent, but it is also about celebrating the sweetness of life. Everybody leaves the show with a smile on their face.”

For the Love of Chocolate is in The Vicars Hall on June 27 at 8pm. Tickets £10 on or 01243 813595 or Cloisters Shop, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, PO19 1PX (open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm).

Amanda starred at Chichester Festival Theatre in Getting Married and An Ideal Husband.

Amanda is also appearing in The Vagina Monologues for Festival of Chichester on June 29-30 in The Vicars Hall, Chichester, Saturday, 7.30pm.