The Cake Commentary – Lydia Catterall

The Cake was truly an emotional journey. For long stretches it was highly comedic, but sporadic sobering interludes made me sympathize with every character on stage. This surprised me, since I thought I wouldn’t feel any sympathy for Della, the middle-aged southern baker who doesn’t want to make the cake for her young friend’s lesbian wedding. However, Della’s character was more full of inner conflict than she was full of hate, torn between a motherly love for this girl and her heteronormative idea of romantic love. Additionally, Della’s acceptance progressed throughout the play, to the point where she couldn’t bring herself to attend the wedding but put thought and effort into making their wedding cake. I was impressed by the choice of the playwright, the director, and the actor portraying Della, all of whom humanized the character as opposed to villainizing her. Painting Della as a human trying to change shows that opinions are not divided in the polar opposite way we so often imagine. 

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