Cream Tea and Incest

The eminently search-engine-unfriendly Cream Tea and Incest returns to Fringe after a successful outing in 2017, but this time with an all-female cast. For fans this is an opportunity to revisit, for newcomers it’s time to jump in. The essential setup remains the same, less PG and more 12A Wodehouse, with a frankly irrelevant plot giving an excuse for a cod Wooster-ish romp through, over and across all that theatre holds dear. Death, opium, wet bread – all the big themes are here, and all delivered at 100 miles per hour.

If you like your nonsense served hot with a side of japery, this is the show for you

The work is frantic, with jokes, wordplay and assorted hilarity fired from the hip from the off by all four of the cast. The pace becomes difficult to sustain over the full hour, Jeffrey being an oasis of occasional calm in a barrage of one-liners. There are some excellent but sadly infrequent set-pieces which both give the play and audience a bit of time to catch their breath and provide some visual variety. The music hall dance routine is genuinely great. The signature 2D cardboard props remain genius and give the play some needed character. The bare set on the quite large Rose Theatre stage could perhaps have had some cardboard attention.

There are some good performances and the casting against gender helps to soften some of the violence of the original, even at the cost of meaning for a few of the lines. Rosalind Seal as Biggins is the standout performer with good support from the rest of the cast. Paula Gilmour as Eddie Spangler has a certain ‘Bob from Blackadder’ delivery but keeps the action moving. Rosie Edwards gives a surprisingly subtle turn as Jeffrey, the ‘not-in-any-way-Jeeves’ character (who inexplicably is referred to as a butler throughout despite clearly being a valet). Collectively, the cast tend to engage in a bit of shouting one-upmanship, and some variation in tone and volume would have been welcome.

All good, clean fun and well worth a look. If you like your nonsense served hot with a side of japery, this is the show for you.

Reviews by Will Breden

Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

Vulvarine: A New Musical

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Ricky Riddlegang and the Riddle Gang

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Cream Tea and Incest

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Blodeuwedd Untold

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Fox

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Sexy Lamp

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Romance! Adventure! Murder! Aristocrat Eddie Spangler and valet Jeffrey must learn the meaning of these words and more in this new knockabout Edwardian comedy. Delight in their capers, mix-ups, and the dead bodies left in their wake. ***** (WestEndWilma.com). ***** (LexicalLunacy.wordpress.com). **** (BroadwayBaby.com). **** (FringeReview.co.uk). **** (RemoteGoat.com). **** (IThankYouTheatre.blogspot.com). **** (LondonTheatre1.com). **** (SpyInTheStalls.com). **** (Everything-Theatre.co.uk). **** (SecretReviewLDN.wordpress.com).

Most Popular See More

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets